In a bid to decrease motorcycle-related accidents, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on Wednesday opened the Motorcycle Riding Academy (MRA) to provide theoretical and practical courses on safe motorcycle riding.
MMDA Acting Chairman Romando Artes said motorcycle riders who are either beginners or have already been driving but want to know the basic knowledge on handling and operating motorcycles with focus on safety riding can now enroll in the MRA located at a vacant property of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) along Julia Vargas Avenue, corner Meralco Avenue in Pasig City.
The MRA will hold a free training for interested individuals aged 17 years and above. It will accommodate 100 participants per batch.
“Hindi ako naniniwala na ang ibang motorcycle riders ay likas na walang disiplina, bagkus kulang lamang sila sa kaalaman at edukasyon sa tamang paggamit ng daan, traffic rules and regulations, and proper driving skills. ’Yan po ang hangad natin sa pagtatayo ng MC Riding Academy—bigyan ng edukasyon ang mga motorcycle riders at baguhin ang kanilang isipan,” Artes said.
In a message, Vice President and concurrent Department of Education Secretary Sara Duterte expressed her support to the MMDA MRA.
“Motorcycles are a common mode of transportation in Metro Manila and the rest of the nation, but they are also among the most vulnerable vehicles on the road. The Academy will assist in mitigating risks by equipping riders with the necessary knowledge and abilities for riding safely,” Duterte said.
“To save lives and reduce the number of motorcycle-related accidents on Metro Manila’s roads, I support the MMDA’s implementation of this initiative,” she added.
The MMDA, through its effort to improve the services of the Riding Academy, has partnered with several stakeholders for the conceptualization of modules and donations of motorcycles, container vans, tents, and helmets, among others.
Among those whom the MMDA partnered with are the GSIS that owns the vacant property, which will house the Academy, Watanabe Riding Development Head Coach Dashi Watanabe for trainers’ training, and Honda Philippines for technical assistance and motorcycle units.
GSIS President and General Manager Jose Arnulfo Veloso also conveyed support to the Academy.
“Our GSIS is adhering to a policy of putting our investment into nation building. And this is why we are all here today to put together riding discipline and make our roads safe,” he said.
For her part, Honda Philippines Inc. President Sayaka Hattori assured MMDA its full support in the future development of this project.
“We are also optimistic that this will reduce traffic-related accidents by teaching the Filipino people safe and appropriate driving,” she said.
Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr.; Senators Juan Edgardo Angara and Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go all donated motorcycle units. Municipality of Pateros, meanwhile, donated container vans, which will serve as the academy’s classrooms.
In a video message, Go congratulated the MMDA for the opening of the Academy as he underscored the importance of road safety.
“Ang pagbubukas ng MMDA Motorcycle Riding Academy ay isang makabuluhang hakbang sa ating pagsisikap na mapaigting ang kaligtasan sa mga kalsada ng Metro Manila. Let us work together to ensure that this academy becomes a cornerstone of safety and responsibility on our roads. With determination and cooperation, we can make Metro Manila a better place for all its residents and visitors,” he said.
Motorcycle ride-hailing firms such as Angkas, Joyride and Lalamove, likewise donated motorcycle units, while motorcycle dealer Ropali Motorcycles donated motorcycles, helmets, and tent.
Angkas CEO George Royeca, Joyride Senior Vice President Noli Eala, and Ropali President Ariane Alingog-Claro expressed their full support and said that the Academy is a good chance to further advocate road safety.
Meanwhile, Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto and Pasig City Rep. Roman Romulo both expressed their support for the academy.
“This is really an excellent and innovative initiative. ‘Pag tuloy-tuloy po ito at marami tayong ma-train, sigurado po sa kalsada, mababawasan po ang anumang problema na mayroon tayo ngayon,” Sotto said.
Participants must be able to balance and ride a bicycle. They must also provide their own standard full-face helmet, full-finger motorcycle gloves, and rain gear. Reflective safety vest is optional. Motorcycles will be provided by the Academy.
Documentary requirements for the participants include: photocopies of Driver’s License or Student’s Permit (if available, but not necessarily a requirement); barangay clearance; Certificate of Employment (if employed); medical certificate/health declaration, and waiver. The motorcycle safety course waiver form must be signed by both the student and his/her parents if the applicant is 17 years old.
The two-day course includes: Basic Road Emergency Response; Road Traffic Rules and Regulations; Motorcycle Orientation on basic parts; control and operation of motorcycles; demonstration of static position and moving position, and; Motorcycle Skills Practice and Demonstration.
Those who will complete the Basic Motorcycle Rider Course and pass the Motorcycle Riding Skills Test will be given a Certificate of Completion and a badge.
Interested applicants must submit the online enrollment form through this link: https://forms.gle/UPPbryVoaKoiyxJE9.
Image credits: Roy Domingo