How Regulating Habal-Habal Drivers Can Help Cebuanos

Share this: 

The Cebu City government may finally regulate the habal-habal transportation service.

In Cebu, you MUST know about the local motorcycle taxis called habal-habal. This informal form of public transportation in the Philippines is commonly used in rural towns and far-flung areas with few public transport options.

This consists of riders carrying passengers on the back of their motorcycles and bringing them to specific locations. In other areas, motorcycles are modified to carry more than one passenger and some goods and belongings.

These are most prevalent in mountainous areas like the Cebu Transcentral Highway, where traditional public utility vehicles struggle to navigate its narrow roads, challenging terrain, and uphill slopes.

Some habal-habal drivers even operate within the city, providing a faster, albeit more expensive option for commuting. Aside from giving better access to attractions and hotspots, you can also traverse the city’s roads and highways more efficiently.

While you may consider riding a motorcycle taxi in order to experience Cebu City’s hidden gems, expect some bumps on the road.

Motorcycles aren’t the safest vehicles. In fact, a Filipino motoring website ranked motor-bike-related incidents as the top cause of traffic fatalities in Metro Manila last 2019.

They lack protection that aids riders in the event of a crash like seatbelts and airbags.

Motorbikes can also hardly be seen by bigger vehicles along major roads and highways, creating a larger risk for sideswipes. Riders can be tempted to do risky maneuvers because of their high acceleration.

This is even harder when you don’t know how to ride a motorcycle as a passenger. You never know what bike some drivers may have, and some may be more difficult to board due to their size or weight.

One of Cebu’s most glaring problems regarding habal-habal drivers, however, is that this service is basically not regulated by any transportation-based office in the country.

Without higher management watching over them, drivers are prone to overloading, overcharging, and lacking the proper equipment like helmets for passengers.

There isn’t even a process to becoming a driver, so some can operate without experience or a license.

Regardless of the safety precautions and legal ramifications of the habal-habal service, it is a lucrative and valuable form of transportation that has been ingrained into the country’s culture and has helped thousands in their travels.

A lot of people refuse to see them go away, and the local government knows it. So, they are now finding ways to protect and create a better experience for those who frequently use this informal form of transportation.


The city government in Cebu will create the Cebu City Habal-Habal Drivers’ Coordinating Office (CCHCO), a governing body tasked with regulating this mode of transportation service.

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama issued an Executive Order creating the department that will soon become a database for all habal-habal drivers in the city. The body is tasked with addressing many of the safety concerns of the commuting public.

The E.O. states that habal-habal drivers must now register their vehicles and possess a driver’s license issued by the Land Transportation Office (LTO). They must also be registered voters and officially reside in Cebu City.

The governing body may also mandate drivers to attend special seminars on road safety to help them become better habal-habal drivers. This reassures us that drivers are well-trained and licensed to serve as public transportation drivers.

The department is also tasked with working with the Cebu City Transportation Office (CCTO) to discuss routes and terminals to help them avoid traffic on the road, and find a place for them to relax and wait for passengers.

This could also help limit motorcycle roadside parking, create more space for bigger vehicles, and make it easier for passengers to find drivers.

CCHCO will also connect with local Habal-Habal Driver Associations to facilitate their services. This creates a database that regulates everything from their operating hours to their fare prices.

This new habal-habal governing body can definitely improve the service and make it more beneficial for both riders and passengers.

Riders are now regulated and trained to be better drivers and continue to operate in a lucrative business sought after by many passengers every day. Passengers, on the other hand, are more assured of a safer, fairer experience while on a motorcycle.

The habal-habal service will definitely thrive, as its convenience allows for better transportation whether it’s in the city or en route to the mountain province. Giving riders supervision will make an already booming business for traveling to Cebu much better.

Share this: 

Other posts

Japanese Fluffy Pancakes from Euphoria Restobar

Try the Japanese Fluffy Pancakes at Euphoria Resto Bar!

Check out these delicious Japanese fluffy pancakes at Euphoria Resto Bar! (Cover photo courtesy of the Euphoria Resto Bar) Do you know what a soufflé is? Although this egg-based dish originated in France, it has become a famous delicacy in Japan. Soufflé pancakes are known for their soft, cloudlike texture.  Most of all, they are

Read More
Wide Shot of the Lava Mountain River Farm

Lava Mountain River Farm: Your Own Private Utopia in Cebu

Looking for a private getaway in the mountains of Cebu? Check out the Lava Mountain River Farm! Being an adult can be exciting and stressful. The more we try to better ourselves, the more we long for relaxation and leisure. This is why a private getaway is a favorite recreational activity among many adults.  Mountain

Read More
Interiors of the Bakespace Baking studio

BakeSpace Cebu: Create Your Own Delicious Desserts!

Welcome to BakeSpace, the first experiential baking studio in Cebu! Many people think that baking is an extremely fun activity. Creating your favorite sweet treats and guilty pleasures may be just as memorable as consuming them for snacks or desserts.  The whole process can be tedious for some, but you will definitely get the hang

Read More

Big Bad Wolf Books Coming to Cebu This September

Photo courtesy of the Big Bad Wolf Books Facebook Page Bookworms unite! The Big Bad Wolf Book Sale is coming back to Cebu this 2023! The three-week event will run from September 15th to October 1st, from 10 AM to 10 PM at the Lower Ground Level of the Cube Wing at SM Seaside Cebu.

Read More
Wide shot of the entrance of the Bear Cave

The Bear Cave: The First Fluid Art Studio in the Philippines

Enjoy your first fluid painting experience at The Bear Cave! Art is one of the best forms of expression. Artists are able to tell a story and elicit emotion from viewers without having to say a single word. There are so many places and activities that inspire creativity, and many items can be used to

Read More
View of the Utopia Cafe from the entrance

Utopia Cafe: A Cocktail Bar and Restaurant in Busay

Utopia Cafe is known for its intimate al fresco dining setup and delectable drinks. What makes a great date night venue?  Is it the ambiance?  The food?  The service provided?  Location? All of this is considered when planning out an intimate dinner date. After all, picking the right venue will make spending quality time with

Read More

Best of Cebu Videos

Scroll to Top
Weather Forecast
Exchange Currency
Cebu City
Mostly Cloudy
5:33 am5:37 pm PST
Feels like: 90°F
Wind: 5mph SW
Humidity: 87%
Pressure: 29.83"Hg
UV index: 2

Exchange Rate USD: Thu, 28 Sep.