Kuligligs/pedicabs as possible parts of mainstream transport in Metro
By Jason de Asis

SENATE OFFICE, Manila, December 4, 2010-Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada, chair of the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development disclosed yesterday that he is considering the probability of having the “kuligligs”/ motorized pedicabs of Metro Manila areas as parts of the mainstream transportation.

Instead of looking at kuligligs as so-called pests of the road, Estratda revealed that “kuliglig”/motorized pedicabs must be registered to Land Transportation Office and should be covered by traffic rules and regulations, meeting safety and public service standards for their passengers and protection; moreso, paying corresponding taxes and fees to the government.
 “They could be seen and appreciated as another fruit of Filipino ingenuity and as a neighborhood transportation means catering to the daily, short-travel needs of community residents such as to and from the nearby marketplace and grocery stores, drugstores, health centers, schools and the main transport stops and terminals along the major highways,” he said, adding that it is on top of the concern about the livelihood and income opportunities that would be lost from the hundreds of kuliglig drivers and operators if their industry would be limited in major degree, or worse, phased out totally.
“To resolve the issue, a thorough study on it and an extensive consultation with all concerned sectors should be undertaken, explaining that kuligligs are not registered with the Land Transportation Office (LTO) because they do not have body serial numbers and they, at least their forerunners – those used in the farms – serve purposes other than simple transportation.
He noted that the laws in several countries recognizing the wide use of “mopeds” (motor-pedal vehicles) under which, he said, the kuligligs could be considered as transport vehicle.
Estrada mentioned one of the most recent enactments in the 2006 inclusion in the state of Iowa’s Code, which includes, among others, the following provisions: such vehicle must have a manufacturer's label attached to it, certifying that the vehicle meets all the safety standards, and indicating therein if the vehicle is to be titled and registered for use in a street or roadway; with speed not exceeding 30 miles per hour; complying with traffic rules and regulations; securing a registration and appropriate licensing; and paying corresponding taxes and fees.
He admitted that the issue about “kuligligs” is complicated, and there’s a need to balance all related concerns such as the traffic rules and the problem with congestion and hazards in major roads, the safety of passengers, taxes and fees, the travel needs of communities which they cater to the livelihood of the kuliglig drivers and operators.
However, the Senator believed that to find the best way to resolve the issues, there should be a thorough and continuous studies and consultations on the various measures that could be undertaken. Studying its’ possibility of legitimizing kuliglig drivers and operators as part of the country’s mainstream transports industry, one who knows the kuligligs might even prove to be actually another notable Filipino innovation, and a vital feature in the community’s daily life.

The “kuligligs” in Metro Manila are tricycles that have the motor, using longer conveyor belts to turn their wheels. They come in different quality levels, depending on their country of origin. (Jason de Asis)