BAGUIO CITY – The city council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance calling for the repeal of an outdated ordinance prohibiting the use of motorcycles on roads, streets and bridle paths within the limits of the city.
The ordinance authored by Councilor Roberto C. Ortega, however, stated that motorcycle riders will not be exempted from the provisions of Republic Act (RA) 10054 or the Motorcycle Helmet Act of 2009 which compel motorcycle riders and their back riders to wear the prescribed and standard protective helmets for their protection.
The proposed ordinance also provides that all motorcycle owners shall install silencers or exhaust mufflers to decrease the amount of noise emitted by their vehicles in order lessen noise pollution around the city, especially at night and during the wee hours of the morning.
At the same time, motorcycles will be covered under the provisions of Ordinance No. 001, series of 2003 or the Baguio Number Coding Scheme in order to limit the number of motorcycles travelling along major streets in the city and lessen traffic congestion in the declared number coding zones.
The proposed local legislative measure cited that the use of motorcycles as a mode of transportation is now becoming common not only in the city but also in the entire country and while some sectors are against the idea of riding a motorcycle for safety reasons, it is the most affordable means of transportation for many.
Ortega said that motorcycles use minimal gasoline compared to cars which translates to less maintenance and repair making it cheap to own and maintain.
He noted the city’s streets are now congested with the huge volume of motor vehicles, and even motorcycles, making it difficult for motorists to conveniently travel around the city to reach their destinations on time.
The proponent said students and employees are the ones mostly affected by the traffic congestions which has forced a number of them to buy motorcycles so that they could freely and easily maneuver in crowded places when bring their children to school and going to work.
While some sectors claim that motorcycles emit more bad smoke due to their single engines, the ordinance stated that upgraded versions of motorcycles are now equipped and injected with catalytic converters and charcoal canisters to control the emission of bad smoke, thus, making them environmentally-friendly.
It will be recalled that there was an uproar among motorcycle riders when the city government revived the strict prohibition of motorcycle travel along roads within the central business district that constrained the city to limit the prohibition to Session road, while the city council was tasked to introduce the appropriate amendments to respond to current needs./By Dexter A. See