Motoring News

ICYMI: Updates on bills concerning EVs and parking fees, a reminder to wear proper riding gear

Update yourself before heading into another busy week
PHOTO: Sharleen Banzon, Shutterstock, Bong Nebrija on Facebook

How quickly can we shift to electrification?

Senate Bill No. 1382, also known as the Electric Vehicles and Charging Stations Act, has been passed unanimously in its third reading.

“The bill, which was authored by Senator Sherwin Gatchalian and several other members of the Senate and filed in March 2020, aims to promote electric vehicle (EV) use and reduce our country’s reliance on fossil fuels. Under SB 1382, a Comprehensive Roadmap on Electric Vehicles (CREV) and guidelines for the manufacturing, importation, utilization, and regulation of EVs and hybrids as well as parts, components, and batteries in the country, will be set up. It also covers the installation of charging stations across the Philippines.

“If implemented to its fullest extent, it will require that 5% of government and corporate fleets be made up of EVs within a time frame prescribed by the CREV. It will also require that new buildings and establishments be constructed with dedicated EV parking slots.

“Several government agencies will be taking an active role in the incorporation of EVs in the country’s transportation sector. The Department of Energy (DOE) is tasked with promoting EVs and developing charging infrastructure in cooperation with other agencies, while the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) will regulate charging rates. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will be in charge of developing the EV and charging-station component of the CREV.

“The Department of Transportation (DOTr) will be responsible for generating EV demand, creating “green routes” for public transport, and issuing relevant policies. The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), meanwhile, will be in charge of creating guidelines for the construction of charging stations and other EV infrastructure.

“From here, the Electric Vehicles and Charging Stations Act will head back down to the House for concurrence and, eventually, to President Rodrigo Duterte’s desk for his signature. You can check it out in its entirety here.”

FYI: Number coding is still suspended, except in Makati City

“The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has confirmed that the number coding scheme will remain suspended despite Metro Manila’s shift from general community quarantine (GCQ) with heightened restrictions to GCQ with restrictions.

“Keep in mind, though, that the latest MMDA number coding announcement does not apply to Makati City, where a modified number-coding scheme has been in effect since May 15. Check out the local government’s social-media post below for exemptions.”

Check out the recently rehabilitated areas of Cavitex

Cavitex Infrastructure Corporation (CIC), a subsidiary of Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC), has just completed its P78-million road-maintenance project along the Manila-Cavite Expressway (Cavitex).

“The scope of work included the rehabilitation and repair of pavement fractures, distortions, and disintegration along Longos (the Bacoor access points to or from Cavitex) and the 1km portion of the mainline carriageway from Wawa Bridge to the Zapote interchange (both Cavite- and Manila-bound).

“‘With the recently completed heavy maintenance project in Cavitex, we now have safer carriageways and smoother roads that help improve the overall driving experience of our motorists,’ CIC President and general manager Roberto Bontia. ‘Despite challenges brought about by the pandemic, we continue to invest on projects that will ensure safety and convenience of our toll road users.’”

Metro Davao’s bike lanes are almost complete

Metro Davao’s bike-lane network is set to open in the second week of June—part of the government’s efforts to promote active transport in metropolitan areas, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) announced on June 2. As of May 28, the project’s overall progress is at 81%, with 46.15km of bike lanes completed.

“Funded by the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act of 2020, the Metropolitan Bike Lane Network is the government’s response to a higher demand for safer roads for cyclists nationwide as more Filipinos adopted the use of bicycles when the pandemic’s safety restrictions shut down public transport for a period of time.

“Bike-lane networks are also under construction in Metro Manila and Metro Cebu, with the aim of linking key activity areas and making safe paths accessible to active transport users.”

Always wear proper shoes and a helmet whenever you ride a scooter

“Last week, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) traffic chief Bong Nebrija shared on Facebook a photo of three motorcycles parked on the side of the road, with the caption: “Nice scooters I must say, but what else do they have in common?”

“He then cited that all its riders were wearing slippers, had no license, and were caught in the same location in Pasay City within 30 minutes of the operation. The units were subsequently impounded.

“One netizen commented on Nebrija’s post: ‘Tapos ang ikakatwiran, Diyan lang kasi ako galing sa kabilang eskinita, may binili lang.’

According to Section XI, Provision (e) of the LTO Administrative Order AHS-2008-015 or the ‘Rules and Regulations for the Use and Operation of Motorcycles on Highways,’ riders wearing flip-flops, sandals, slippers, or no footwear at all while operating a motorcycle or scooter on a road or highway will be fined from P500 to P1,000, including the revocation of driver’s license, depending on the offense.”

Free or more affordable parking? A newly approved House bill wants to give exactly that

“House Bill No. 7725, also known as the Parking Operations and Fees Regulation Act, has just been approved by the House of Representatives on the third reading with 253 votes for, zero against, and zero abstinence. A consolidation of several bills, it seeks to ‘protect consumers’ from ‘unreasonable parking rates and fees.’

“Under HB 7725, health service establishments (hospitals, clinics), accommodation establishments (hotels, resorts) food service establishments (restaurants, food parks), educational institutions (public and private schools), and retail establishments (supermarkets, shopping malls) shall provide free parking to eligible customers and constituents who can present an acceptable proof of transaction or valid identification. Limitations apply; for instance, a confined patient or an outpatient at a health service facility can avail himself of just one parking slot for the day. Customers at food service and retail establishments shall be allowed to park free of charge for up to two hours only.

“For customers and constituents that don’t qualify for free parking, there shall be a limit to the parking fees that establishments will be allowed to charge. Hospitals, for example, will only be able to charge up to P20 per hour, hotels up to P30 per hour, and restaurants up to P20 per hour (past the two-hour grace period).

“In addition, the bill sets a cap on street parking fees at P50 per hour and overnight parking fees at P150 per vehicle. Establishments may only charge up to P150 for any lost parking ticket provided that the customer can present any document proving ownership of the vehicle. In case the customer is able to return the supposedly lost parking ticket within 60 days thereafter, he will be issued a full refund.

“Likewise, the bill sets standards for parking facilities—including signage, pedestrian crossings, speed bumps and rumble strips, and a 20kph speed limit—and mandates that a certain number of CCTV cameras installed and security guards be deployed within the area. If a parking facility is proven to have failed to comply with these safety and security measures, it may be held liable for any loss of property or damage to vehicles incurred inside the property.

“All covered establishments are also required to set up a fixed structure that will serve as a designated bicycle parking area. At least 4% of available slots per parking level must be reserved for senior citizens and persons with disabilities, too, and these should be in the most convenient and accessible locations in the facility.

“Violators will be fined not less than P100,000 but not exceeding P300,000. If you want to read all the specifics of the bill, you can check out the official document here.”

Meanwhile, a Senate bill wants to regulate sales of motorcycle accessories

“Senator Manny Pacquiao recently filed Senate Bill No. 2263, otherwise known as the Motorcycle Rights and Safety Act of 2021. It aims to ‘recognize, protect, and promote the rights of motorcycle owners and users to proper standards of ownership and use, to their safe operation, and to reasonable and responsive regulation of the trades supporting the said ownership and use.’

“Some parts of the Motorcycle Rights and Safety Act are amendments of Republic Act No. 4136, or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code of 1964. One of the new provisions of Pacquiao’s bill is the stricter monitoring of the aftermarket parts and accessories trade.

“Aftermarket products, which should be sold by legal and DTI-registered sellers, must not:

  • Negatively affect the safety and use and operation of a vehicle
  • Obstruct the vision of the driver or rider
  • Exceed the loading and carrying capacities of the vehicle
  • Prevent or restrict the proper operation of the vehicle
  • Clearly endanger surrounding persons, vehicles and/or other road users
  • Cause a nuisance to the public
  • Emit unacceptable levels of odor, smoke, or noise

“The LTO will consult with the DTI, manufacturers, suppliers, technical experts, and shareholders for the aftermarket parts and accessories, as well as its installation, loading, and carrying limits on the motorbike. Aftermarket products will be made available after research, certification, and testing by the LTO for the safety of the rider and other road users.

“Modifications such as additions, adjustments, upgrades, and replacements of standard parts and components are allowed, as long as they follow the agency’s regulations. On the other hand, the LTO has to approve changes to numbered owner-identifying parts.

“Pacquiao said in his explanatory note: ‘There is a loudening clamor for the State to assist in providing education and training in motorcycle use and safety protocols, and to provide technically correct, responsive and consistent laws and regulations that ensure order and safety while minimizing conflict, confusion, and misinterpretation.

“‘This bill seeks to recognize the rights of motorcycle riders and users, address their and  other vehicle driver’s safety concerns, and regulate the industry that supports them.’”

“Check out the full copy of the bill here.”

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PHOTO: Sharleen Banzon, Shutterstock, Bong Nebrija on Facebook
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