The House Committee on Metro Manila Development asked the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to immediately come up with the necessary guidelines in compliance with Section 7 of Republic Act 4136 allowing the registration of motorcycle vehicle.
During the continuation of the hearing, the committee chaired by Rep. Winston Castelo discussed the policies in the registration and use of motorcycles as an alternative public utility vehicle in Metro Manila.
Castelo said it is a given fact that Metro Manila is experiencing tremendous hardship because of the daily traffic congestion.
Castelo cited the World Bank and University of the Philippines commissioned study which reported that the Philippines is losing about P2 billion pesos a day in terms of revenue.
“Shall we continue ito pong mga pasakit at paghihirap ng mga commuters po natin? We will find out with the DOTr kung ano po ang kanilang alternatibo,” said Castelo.
DOTr Undersecretary Mark De Leon said the Supreme Court last December 13, 2018 issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) to “ANGKAS” and this is the basis of the court order for their operation.
De Leon said the DOTr maintained that currently they have constraints on three aspects. First, is the legal mandate, the judicial and the regulation of motorcycle taxis.
On the legal constraint, De Leon said the DOTr maintained that under RA 4136, private motorcycle taxis are not yet allowed under the current laws.
“So it shall not be used for hire under any circumstances. Secretary Tugade has already instructed the DOTr to form a technical working group (TWG) to assist Congress if they call for any hearings and to provide any assistance in regulations should there be any proposal to regulate and allow motorcycle taxis to operate in the country,” said De Leon, adding that there is still no fare meter for motorcycle taxis and no designated authority to issue the franchise.
Rep. Lito Atienza (Party list, Buhay) said that the country is facing a problem in the transportation sector.
“Kailan po ninyo didisisyonan ‘yan dahil malaki ang nagagawa nitong Angkas o itong mga motorsiklong ito sa pansamantalang sitwasyon natin. Hindi naman pwede open ended o maghihintay na lang tayo sa resulta ng inyong trabaho. We want to be assured kailan po matatapos ang inyong trabaho,” said Atienza.
Lead Convenor, MOVE Metro Manila, Dr. Grace Gorospe Jamon, said that based on their study at the University of the Philippines in relation to the mandate of the DOTr would probably put a closure to the discussions on whether to push in the legislature.
MOVE Metro Manila Lead Convenor Dr. Grace Gorospe Jamon said that theor position is to reconsider regulating the motorcycle taxi. Jamon added that they made a study on the legality of regulating motorcycle taxi.
George Rayete of Angkas stated some facts on Angkas based on their experience. He said the safety record of Angkas is 99.997 percent and the accident rate is .003 percent.
Rayete said the reason why their safety record is high is because they focused on training. “Ang requirements po namin kailangan po ng professional driver’s license apart from NBI at police clearance. Lahat po ng motorsiklo kailangan naka-attached po ang driver doon sa motorsiklo. Hindi po katulad ng ibang vehicles for public transportation na pwedeng magpalit ng driver. Dito po hindi pwede,” said Rayete.
To date, Rayete said they trained 70,000 drivers for free but only 25,000 qualified to become professional drivers.
Rep. Raul del Mar cited his proposed measure, House Bill 6909 which seeks to regulate motorcycles for hire known as “Habal-Habal” or “Angkas”, thereby authorizing municipalities to grant franchises for their operations, amending for the purpose Section 458 of Republic Act 7160, as amended, otherwise known as the Local Government Code of the Philippines.
Photo from Honda Phils.