Government to pilot-run motorcycle taxis

File Photo: Angeline Tham, CEO of Angkas Philippines, at the first-ever Angkas Safety Fiesta at the Ynares Stadium in Antipolo City.

THE House of Representatives and the Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Monday agreed to a pilot run for motorcycle ride-hailing services in the country.

During a hearing of the House Committee on Metro Manila Development, DOTr Undersecretary Mark de Leon said the proposed pilot run of Angkas to assess the viability of motorcycle taxis as public-utility vehicles.

De Leon told lawmakers this pilot run will test the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) that the technical working group (TWG) is drafting.

“The technical working group has met twice already and we are planning for a third meeting to finalize the IRR and the proposal to have the pilot run,” de Leon said.

The TWG is composed of representatives from the DOTr, Land Transportation Office, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, the Senate, the House of Representatives, commuter-welfare groups, road- safety advocates, motorcycle manufacturers, motorcycle organizations and law schools.

 House Committee on Metro Manila Development Chairman Winston Castelo, meanwhile, said the provisional authority to operate is needed immediately to help commuters and to allow 27,000 Angkas biker-partners to resume their livelihood.

Although these are pending in Congress, Castelo said the government still needs to give Angkas the provisional authority to operate.

“The pilot run will also allow Angkas biker-partners to resume the operations which was suspended when the Supreme Court filed a temporary restraining order last December,” he added.

Castelo said there are pending bills filed in Congress now that would legalize motorcycles for hire, “but this would take a lot of time because of the long legislative process. There are other ways to legalize it, to expedite its operations, especially now that we are suffering from traffic congestion.” 

Republic Act (RA) 4136, or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code provided that two-wheel vehicles are banned from being used for hire.

Last week, the House of Representatives endorsed for Senate approval a bill seeking to allow the use of motorcycles as an alternative public-utility vehicle.

House Bill 8959 will amend RA 4136 to address the tremendous daily suffering of commuters because of traffic congestion.

The bill will allow ride application Angkas and habal-habal to operate.

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Jovee Marie de la Cruz

Jovee Marie Dela Cruz is working as a reporter in the country's leading business newspaper the BusinessMirror since 2013.
Ms. Dela Cruz, who is in the media industry for 8 years, is currently covering the House of Representatives.
She graduated from Universidad De Manila with a degree of Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in 2008.
At present, Ms. Dela Cruz is finishing up her master's degree in communication at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP).
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