Isko Moreno temporarily bans e-trikes, e-bikes in Manila

MANILA, Philippines – Manila Mayor Isko Moreno has effectively banned the use of e-tricycles and e-bicycles in the country's capital on Friday, July 26.

In a memorandum, Moreno ordered Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau officer-in-charge Dennis Viaje, "to inform owners to temporarily stop the use" of e-tricycles and e-bicycles until issues about the vehicle are resolved by the Land Transportation Office (LTO). 



Moreno's order covers both for "personal use" and as "for hire/for public conveyance."

He told Viaje: "You are hereby directed to inform all e-trike for hire/public conveyance owners and operators to temporarily stop their operation pending the consultation with the Sangguniang Panglungsod."

It is the Sangguniang Panglungsod which issues franchises or licenses to operate for conventional gas-powered tricycles.

Why the ban? Moreno found out that e-trikes for hire have no franchises.

"A verification done with the Sangguniang Panglungsod Secretary reveal that these e-trike operating as public conveyance have not secured franchise from the Sangguniang Panglungsod (City Council). Hence, there was no opportunity to inspect the road worthiness of these e-trikes," Moreno added in his letter.

Moreno also wanted to define the regulations of the electric vehicles first with the help of the Council and transportation agencies.

READ: Mayor Isko Moreno temporarily bans public and for-hire operations of e-trikes and e-bikes in Manila. He says their regulation must first be clarified through transportation agencies and the Manila City Council. @rapplerdotcom — Rambo Talabong (@ramboreports) July 26, 2019

Moreno misinformed? Moreno's call for the ban of the electric vehicles came after he was told by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) in a Metro Manila Council meeting that these were classified by the Department of Transportation as "toys."

No memorandum of the DOTr classifies them as toys, however. (READ: DILG orders Metro Manila mayors: Clear roads in 60 days)

The term was used by MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia during the MMC meeting, who clarified in a text message with Rappler that he was only referring to e-bikes. He called them such, he said, because they "could not be registered, and are only used as bikes for private subdivisions."

DOTr on tricycles: In a statement on Thursday, July 25, the DOTr Undersecretary Mark Richmund de Leon said they respected Moreno's decision to ban e-tricycles in Manila, saying "it is within the purview of the Local Government Unit (LGU) to grant franchise for the operation of tricycles in its area of jurisdiction."

 The DOTr added that Moreno's decision on e-trikes and e-bikes has prompted the LTO "to clarify existing rules and ... release a detailed memorandum circular regarding the registration and operation of e-trikes, e-bikes, and e-scooters." –

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers security, crime, and the city of Manila for Rappler. He was chosen as a Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.