If you’ve been following the latest round of news lately, you might’ve come across a report regarding the recent ban of e-trike and e-bikes on Manila City roads by its new mayor Francisco "Isko Moreno” Domagoso. The reason being was that these vehicles are classified as “toys” by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority or MMDA, deeming them as illegal modes of public transport, especially on national roads like EDSA, NLEX, SLEX, among others.
This move, more specifically how the MMDA has perceived such vehicles as “playthings,” has caused quite a stir among the hybrid and electric vehicle community as they’ve evidently been pushing information drives, legislatives, and movements for many years now, in an effort to shed light on the positive benefits of such vehicles. Benefits like safer travels and more environment-friendly transportation.
While the issue is still open for debate, the Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (EVAP) has issued a statement regarding the matter, clarifying the true purpose and design principles of e-trikes and e-bikes, and at the same time reiterating its support on the Manila Mayor’s decision.
EVAP is also stating that together with all the organizations concerned like the Department of Transport (DOTr) and the Department of Energy (DOE), it is willing to cooperate with the MMDA and the local government units in furthering the endeavor of providing the clearest information as to what e-trikes and e-bikes are, and how these vehicles can help the commuting public experience better transportation. See the statement below of what EVAP has to say.
“EVAP supports the City of Manila Mayor Isko Moreno’s drive to clean up and put order to Manila streets. EVAP, aligned with the policy of DOTr and DILG, also agrees that all tricycles, i.e. electric-driven or not, should not be plying national roads, except in the absence of alternative public transport and minor roads and in cases that support national and local strategic agenda, e.g. tourism, logistics.
EVAP further recognizes that in the City of Manila, several e-trikes have been rolled-out in some areas, with minimal consideration on its proper operation, which eventually creates disorder. However, a number of initiatives were properly planned out, functioning well and are serving their purpose. This is particularly true in the case of the tourist e-trike services in Intramuros. To note, the initiative is coherent with the direction of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) in including e-trikes in the coverage of tourist transport services to ‘promote new and more sustainable public transport solutions and to support the country’s flourishing tourism industry’. The Department of Energy (DOE) has also donated to date a total of 3000 e-trikes to various LGUs all over the country ,including 100 to the City of Manila, to promote energy efficiency and security.
E-trikes produces less than half of the greenhouse gases and have negligible health effects compared to those churned-out by conventional tricycles. E-trikes moreover, reduces the dependence on imported petroleum fuel, which reduces the energy security risk of the country. The simplicity of the electric vehicle technology also provides the local economy an opportunity to finally produce our own vehicles and possibly become a manufacturing hub of the technology in ASEAN.
In consideration of its economic, environmental, and social benefits, we, therefore, in EVAP instead recommend the re-organization of e-trkes in the City of Manila and are looking forward to working with the City Government on how to maximise the proper and optimal use of e-trikes in the city. We shall also be working with LTO and DOTr in the preparation of appropriate guidelines on the classification, registration and usage of electric vehicles in the country."