Davao City to collect 25-peso bike registration fee

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 27 June) — The local government of Davao will collect a bicycle registration free of P25 renewable after three years once the City Council of Davao approves the proposed amendments of the 2010 Bicycle Ordinance.

Atty. Mark Peñalver, executive director of Interface Development Interventions for Sustainability (IDIS), said on Saturday that Councilor Mabel Acosta, who chairs the Committee on Peace and Public Safety, has completed the draft of the proposed ordinance.

A woman parks her bicycle at the bike rack in Abreeza Mall, Davao City on Monday ( 29 June 2020). Bicycles have become one of the main modes of tranportation in the city during this time of COVID-19 pandemic. MindaNews Photo

He said that the imposition of minimal registration fee was agreed during committee hearings.

He added that it has been transmitted to the office of 3rd District Councilor Conrado Baluran for review and harmonization with the Comprehensive Transport and Traffic Code.

In June 2020, Mayor Sara Duterte ordered the temporary suspension of bicycle registration and collection of fees due to the conflicting provisions in the existing Bicycle Ordinance and the Traffic Code of this city.

Registration fee is one of the conflicting provisions because the Traffic Code requires bicycle owners to pay an annual fee of 150 pesos while under the ordinance it is only 20 pesos a year.

The requirements in the Traffic Code that have been suspended are the license required, registration, and attachment of license plate; and under the Bicycle Ordinance, the registration.

Peñalver said that his group is happy seeing development in the bicycle infrastructure after lobbying with the city government to provide safe spaces for bikers and pedestrians.

He said the existing bike lanes are a “good start” but he hopes the city government “maintains this momentum in order to develop more streets and roads with bicycle lanes.”

“We are happy with how the bicycle (infrastructure is) going in the city. It represents the lobbying done by the cycling community in Davao and other partners. We’re glad that the city is responding to the calls of the cycling community,” he said.

But Penalver said the local government should also invest in providing more open and green spaces to serve as “resting or cooling” areas and to improve the urban climate, which will benefit not only the bikers but also the daily commuters.

Last Friday, Dionisio Abude, head of the City Transportation and Traffic Management Office (CTTMO), said a total of 156 motorists have been apprehended as of June 19 for obstructing the bicycle lanes in the downtown area.

Abude said violators also included motorists who illegally parked along the designated bicycle lanes.

Each violator was fined P500, he said.

He said the local government would increase the fine to P1,500 once the City Council of Davao approves the proposed revisions in the Bicycle Ordinance.

The bicycle ordinance will also provide specific guidelines for bicycle lanes, he added.

Abude warned motorists to respect the bicycle lanes, saying his office has created a 10-man enforcement team to monitor the correct use of bike lanes.

He said the local government has collaborated with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)-Davao to start laying the groundwork for the installation of bicycle lanes along Carlos P. Garcia Highway (Diversion Road), Davao-Bukidnon Highway, Matina Aplaya to Ecoland Drive, C. Bangoy St., Ecowest Drive, and Tulip Drive.

“We do not only apprehend because we want to, but we would like also to educate our motorists. We do not allow them to park or obstruct bike lanes except for loading and unloading of passengers,” he said. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)