DOTR MULLS ALLOWING THE OPERATION OF MOTORCYCLE TAXIS
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) welcomes the bill filed before the House of Representatives to amend certain provisions of Republic Act 4136, or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code, to legally allow motorcycles for hire.
The DOTr believes this is the right step in order for motorcycles to function as a public transport service.
The DOTr respects the legislative process this bill will undergo, as government policies are anchored on the power of the law.
Despite the proposed measure in Congress, some say that motorcycles should immediately be considered as a mode of public transport, even if the amendments for the Land Transportation and Traffic Code have not yet been passed.
The DOTr stresses that converting motorcycles to a public transport service requires thorough study, deliberation and assessment.
From the DOTr’s end, Secretary Arthur Tugade ordered in December 2018 the creation of a Technical Working Group (TWG), the report of which may be submitted to Congress to serve as a resource for lawmakers in deciding on the proposed amendments.
TWG discussions will begin this Friday, 18 January 2019.
Through the TWG, discussions will be made on the capacities required of a motorcycle and its driver for public transport service. These include determining the types of motorcycle that can be awarded a franchise, the minimum Cubic Centimeter (CC) capacity, travel speed, franchise routes, seat and helmet requirements, and training requirements for motorcycle bikers looking to register as a PUV driver.
In addition, the TWG may also discuss which government agency will issue franchises, whether it is the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), or local government units (LGUs). In the case of LGUs, can motorcycle taxis cross municipal borders?
Moreover, in regulatory terms, will e-bikes or e-motorcycles be allowed to register as a motorcycle taxi?
Safety issues will also be included in the TWG discussions – setting responsibilities and accountabilities in the unfortunate case of an accident.
We will listen to all parties, and determine if legalizing motorcycle taxis is what’s best for the riding public.
It is easy to say that motorcycle taxis are convenient and speedy as they can weave through traffic. However, when accidents involving passengers pile up and no accountabilities are made for the victims’ funeral and hospitalization expenses, should the motorcycle driver or owner be allowed to simply walk away without any measure of responsibility? For the DOTr, passenger safety and security are paramount.
Forming the TWG are representatives from the DOTr, Land Transportation Office (LTO), LTFRB, Philippine National Police – Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG), Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Senate, Congress, commuter welfare groups, road safety advocates, motorcycle manufacturers, motorcycle organizations, and law schools.
The DOTr hopes that through the discussions of the TWG, all sectors will have the opportunity to express their positions and be heard, and above all, amicably come to an agreement geared towards the safety, security, and comfort of our passengers.