Transport exec berated by boss for taking ‘illegal’ motorbike ride
Instead of getting commended for thinking out of the box to get to an official event on time, Transportation Undersecretary Tim Orbos found himself in a fix on Friday when he casually mentioned that he took a ride on the habal-habal—a motorcyle converted into a public utility vehicle that is prohibited on city streets.
In his opening speech, Orbos said that for the “first time,” he had to use the motorcycle service to make it on time to the Bonifacio Global City (BGC) for the signing of the memorandum of agreement on the inter-operability of toll collection systems.
Orbos immediately got a public dressing down from his boss, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade who said he was “really bothered… and alarmed” by the official’s “(expletive) ride on the habal-habal.”
In front of toll operators and other government officials, including Public Works Secretary Mark Villar, Tugade told Orbos: “I will not tolerate it.”
Orbos, who came from a meeting at the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), said that he flagged down a motorcycle rider to hitch a ride to BGC. It was unclear though where he flagged down the motorcycle and if he paid for the ride.
The local government of Taguig strictly prohibits the motorcyle service on its roads. But the service, which charges a minimum P50 fare, remains a popular option among workers and passengers who want a faster ride through the traffic-choked streets in the area.
“We should not, at all cost, allow or encourage the use of habal-habal,” said Tugade who warned that Orbos “will be penalized” for what he did. The undersecretary said he would “accept” the penalty.
The MMDA general manager later told reporters in a phone interview that he has nothing against Tugade for publicly reprimanding him.
This was not the first time that a transport official drew flak because of a motorcycle-related issue. In 2015, former
MMDA Chair Francis Tolentino was roundly criticized for riding a motorcycle without wearing a helmet.
Tugade himself was recently bashed by netizens for a video that showed him getting a new driver’s license within “eight to nine minutes” during the ceremonial roll-out of the new plastic licenses that now have a five-year validity. This, despite Tugade himself admitting that he had deliberately placed errors on his application. The official got more flak after it was revealed that he does not even drive and was not given the required driving test among new license applicants.
The Land Transportation Office quickly clarified that Tugade’s expedited application was only for demonstration purposes meant to test the efficiency of the new system.
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