TRANSPORT advocacy network The Passenger Forum (TPF) want lawmakers to certify the Motorcycle (MC) Taxi Bill as urgent, given that this new mode of transportation has proven to be a viable alternative to other transport modes.
Primo Morillo, the convener of TPF, said the legalization of MC taxis “will help commuters cope with the current deficit in public transport options.”
“Legalizing MC taxis must also include provisions that ensure passenger safety, proper training of riders, and accident insurance. We are pinning our hopes on the 19th Congress to act with urgency,” he said, noting how “commuters truly appreciate MC taxis, as we’ve seen how the demand for it is high especially during rush hours and paydays.”
The bill was nearly approved during the 18th Congress, with 20 authors crafting similar versions of the bill in the House of Representatives and the Senate.
However, after the elections, the bill has yet to move forward, leaving the legalization of motorcycle taxis hanging.
Motorcycle taxis are currently operating under a pilot study, as they have yet to be legally recognized as a form of public transportation. Lawmakers from the previous Congress have started the ball rolling to legalize them but their effort was halted due to the pandemic.
For now, the government has limited the operation of motorcycle taxis to three companies, which are required to provide the government necessary data to prove that they are a safe mode of transportation for the public.
The three companies are Angkas, JoyRide and Move It.
Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Jaime Bautista earlier said he is asking Congress to hasten deliberations on crafting a law that will enable the government to regulate motorcycle taxis.
Morillo noted that the law will help the government’s aim to minimize unemployment without costing the government anything, while also widening the government’s tax base.
“The economy will significantly benefit from MC taxi legalization. Commuting workers and small business owners will enjoy faster travel time, thousands of motorcyclists will be employed, and of course, the government will collect taxes from all MC taxi transactions,” he said.