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LTO to issue memo on e-trikes after Mayor Isko banned these ‘toys’ in Manila

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MANILA — The Land Transportation Office (LTO) will soon issue a memorandum circular clarifying the rules on the registration and operation of electric tricycles (e-trikes) following its ban in the city of Manila as public transport.

“The LTO, in view of the Manila LGU pronouncement, shall help clarify existing rules and will soon release a detailed memorandum circular regarding the registration and operation of e-trikes, e-bikes, and e-scooters,” the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said in a statement.

Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso ordered the pull-out out of e-trikes from the city’s roads following the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority’s (MMDA) classification of the vehicles as “toys”.

Domagoso said e-trikes “generate chaos” and take away passengers of regulated public transports.

He sought clarification as to whether such vehicles can be used as public transport.

In response to Domagoso’s move, DOTr Undersecretary for road transport and infrastructure Mark Richmund de Leon said they are willing to help the local government in improving the city’s public transport system.

“As the DOTr recognizes the full authority of Mayor Isko to cancel the franchises of e-tricycles in his city, we shall remain willing and ready to assist the City of Manila in rationalizing its public transportation system to improve the commuting experience of the public through enhanced mobility and connectivity,” de Leon said.

On the use of e-trikes, de Leon said Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) 2017-001, issued by the DOTr with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), prohibits tricycle operations on national roads.

“Joint Memorandum Circular 001 Series of 2017 of the DOTr and the DILG expressly states that ‘tricycle operation should only be confined along city or municipal roads, not along national roads, and is limited only to routes not traversed by higher modes of public transport’,” de Leon said.

“Similar with e-trikes, the LTO also prohibits the use of e-bikes on national roads,” he added.

The local government, however, may allow e-trikes on national roads if there are no other alternative public transport modes or routes.

“When the Department of Energy (DOE) donated to the DOTr in 2018 some 200 units of e-trikes to aid in providing environment-friendly transportation to tourists in Boracay, these electric vehicles were deployed in resort areas of the island, and not on national roads,” de Leon said.

During the 7th Philippine Electric Vehicle Summit on July 21, 2019, de Leon said DOTr’s promotion of e-trikes as public transport is only for tourist areas defined by the Department of Tourism or the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority. (PNA)