Davide backs Tom on habalhabals
CEBU, Philippines — Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III is backing the regularization of habalhabal operations.
“There is really a need for habalhabal. We see that even in our towns here in Cebu,” he said.
This was in support of Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña’s recent statement that Cebu’s economy and Cebuanos will not survive without habalhabal.
“The BPOs alone bring P7 billion a month to Cebu City’s economy, and almost half of the 150,000 BPOs working here are voice agents who work on Western time. Because it is so stressful, the attrition rate in this sector is already four to eight percent even without taking away their main form of transportation,” he told members of the House of Representatives during the Metro Manila Development Committee in Manila on Monday.
At present, the operations of habalhabal and Angkas have stopped because of the ruling of the Supreme Court.
Davide said the townspeople, including students are also depended on the motorcycle-for-hire especially in the mountain barangays. It is their daily means of transportation.
“People are dependent on that (motorcycle-for-hire). There are so many interior roads and even barangay roads that are not accessible by four-wheel vehicles,” he said.
On the other hand, Davide urged the Department of Energy (DOE) to help the far-flung Cebu towns get their fuel supply.
He made the appeal after some residents of Pilar town on Camotes Island complained about the banning of retailed fuel products like gasoline.
Pilar Mayor Eufrascio Maratas Jr. said the ban has taken a toll on the habalhabal operations on the island. Habalhabal is the island’s main transport system.
He said the island has no existing fuel company, adding that the closest gasoline station is two hours away via boat or ferry in Ormoc City, Leyte. — KBQ (FREEMAN)