E-bikes, e-scooters, and other personal mobility devices (PMDs) have been the talk of the town lately after the Land Transportation Office (LTO) announced that they want these types of “vehicles” to be registered with the LTO.

Subsequently, users may also have to secure a permit or even have a valid driver's license to use one. Well, that's according to the draft of a document sent by LTO Secretary Edgar Galvante to the Department of Transportation (DOTr) as well as a radio interview regarding the matter.

The DOTr, however, wanted to clear up the issues a bit, and maybe give e-bike/e-scooter users a sigh of relief.

According to the DOTr, no official guidelines have been announced at the moment. With that, people who are using e-bikes, e-scooters, and other PMDs can continue doing so without issues. Furthermore, the initial draft submitted by the LTO has yet to be reviewed by the DOTr Road Sector, Legal Affairs, and the Office of the Secretary.

But the most important bit of information we received was DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade's stand on the issue. According to an interview on the topic of e-bikes and e-scooters, Sec. Tugade is personally not in favor of having them registered. Especially not now in the time of a pandemic with public transportation capacities reduced and incomes affected. We were told that he will also listen to the opinion and arguments of both regulators and stakeholders.

So there you have it. The DOTr secretary himself is not in favor of having e-bikes, e-scooters, and PMDs registered with the LTO. And if any Memorandum Circular or official guidelines are released by the DOTr, it will require Sec. Tugade's signature to be made official. Since he does plan to meet with regulators and stakeholders, the possibility of e-bikes/e-scooters registered is still there. If they do implement it, hopefully, they'll do so after the COVID-19 pandemic has passed and public transportation resumes full operations.