2 new PNR trains to hit tracks on Dec. 16

Robie de Guzman   •   December 11, 2019   •   340

MANILA, Philippines – The two sets of brand-new diesel multiple unit (DMU) motor cars of the Philippine National Railways (PNR) are expected to hit the tracks next week, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said.

The train sets were unveiled in an arrival ceremony held on Wednesday in Tondo, Manila.          

The DOTr said the train units, each with three coaches, will be fully operational by December 16. These will be deployed on PNR’s Malabon and FTI routes.

The train sets, which were acquired from Indonesian company PT Inka, has a minimum capacity of 752 passengers and are seen to increase PNR’s current daily passenger service rate of 65,000.

It will also add 18 to 20 trips per day to FTI-Tutuban and FTI-Malabon routes, increasing PNR’s operational capacity to better serve the public.

The PNR said four more trains with four coaches each are expected to be delivered next year.

These train sets are part of the 37 railcars and three locomotives procured by the PNR from PT Inka.

The unveiling ceremony of the new trains was attended by some Philippine and Indonesian officials, including Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, Indonesian Ambassador Dr. Sinyo Harry Sarundajang, PNR General Manager Junn Magno, PT Inka representatives, and House Transportation committee chair and Samar First District Rep. Edgar Sarmiento.

DOTr-TWG to meet with stakeholders this week to discuss motorcycle taxi issues

Robie de Guzman   •   January 20, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) inter-agency technical working group (TWG) is set to meet this week with stakeholders to discuss concerns involving motorcycle taxis.

In a statement, the TWG said it will consider sentiments raised by the members of the Senate committee on public services and motorcycle taxi operators following its announcement of the termination of the pilot run.

“The Inter-Agency TWG on Motorcycle Taxis is considering the sentiments raised by the members of the Senate Committee on Public Services, as well as by other stakeholders,” it said in a statement posted on Facebook.

“In fact, right after the Senate hearing, the TWG immediately convened to initially discuss such sentiments,” it added.

The statement was issued after TWG chairperson and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) member Antonio Gardiola said they have submitted a recommendation to terminate the pilot run on motorcycle-ride hailing services in the country.

Gardiola also said earlier motorcycle taxis will be considered illegal and will not be allowed to operate when they start the enforcement next week.

However, some senators urged the TWG to continue the pilot test until Congress amends the Republic Act 4136, which states that motorcycles are still considered as a private mode of transportation.

The TWG said these concerns will be discussed during their meeting on Wednesday and Friday this week.

“Afterwhich, a report shall be submitted to DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade,” it said.

“Another meeting shall likewise be conducted on Friday with stakeholders, resource persons, and the three motorcycle providers participating in the study, to iron out the specifics,” it added.

DOTr-TWG to terminate pilot run for motorcycle taxis

Robie de Guzman   •   January 20, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Motorcycle taxis will be considered illegal and will not be allowed to operate starting next week, a transport official said Monday.

Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) inter-agency Technical Working Group (TWG) chairperson and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) member Antonio Gardiola said this is after submitting their recommendation to terminate the pilot run for motorcycle ride-hailing operations in the country.

“We submitted our recommendation to Congress this morning. This was favorably endorsed by our secretary, Secretary Arthur Tugade,” Gardiola said in an interview with reporters before a Senate hearing on bills seeking to regulate motorcycle taxis.

Gardiola explained they recommended the immediate termination of the implementation of the pilot study as they will not be able to gather data for analysis due to a legal case filed by one of the players.

“It’s really very significant but then it’s also half of the three months yung study natin. We cannot gather data because of the legal impediments,” he said.

“We are resorting to legal rigmarole sa nangyayaring ito. Bale nag-file sila ng kaso so nai-impede ang study… We cannot gather data because of actions being undertaken by one of the players so it is better to terminate it,” he added.

The implementation of the pilot run was approved in aid of legislation for both the House of Representatives and the Senate to evaluate pending bills pushing for the legalization of motorcycles as public utility vehicles, as well as amendment of existing laws such as Republic Act No. 4136 or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code.

The pilot test, which started in May 2019, was initially set to end on December 26 but was extended with two new players – JoyRide and MoveIt.

The extension was supposed to end on March 23, 2020

A cap of 39,000 registered bikers – 10,000 bikers per Transport Network Company (TNC) for Metro Manila and 3,000 bikers each TNC for Metro Cebu operations – was also set.

Angkas questioned the set limit, and claimed there was politics involved in the inclusion of JoyRide in the pilot run.

The firm last week secured temporary restraining orders against the cap on riders.

Gardiola said with the recommendation termination of the pilot run, motorcycle taxis will no longer be allowed to operate.

“Iligal silang lahat kasi they are drawing their authority to run motorcycle because of the study. We know there is a law covering this, Republic Act 4136, it says that motorcycles are still considered as a private mode of transportation,” he said.

The LTFRB official said they will start the enforcement next week.

DOTr slams Angkas for TRO petition

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 10, 2020

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has slammed ride-hailing Angkas for filing another Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against motorcycle taxi guidelines.

Department of Transportation (DOTr) Assistant Secretary for Communications Goddes Hope Libiran said Angkas was telling a lie and is being “two-faced” for saying it would no longer object to the motorcycle taxi guidelines.

In a petition filed by the Angkas in the Quezon City Regional Trial Court, they want a TRO against the implementation of the rider cap for the motorcycle-taxi pilot run in Metro Manila and Cebu.

Angkas also seeks a TRO against a policy allowing the inclusion of JoyRide and Move It in the extended pilot program for motorcycle taxis.

The ride-hailing app previously filed a TRO petition at the Mandaluyong Regional Trial Court but on Wednesday (January 8), they apologized saying it would no longer object to the motorcycle taxi guidelines and will be open to competition from other transport groups.

With the new petition, Libiran said Angkas wants a monopoly.

“Dito natin makikita na doble-kara ang Angkas. Noong isang araw, nag-sorry sila sa harap ng media. Nangako na susundin nila ang guidelines at makikipag-usap sa gobyerno. Ngayon, nagpunta sila sa korte para i-challenge ang gobyerno (We can see that Angkas being two-faced here. The other day they apologized in front of the media. They promised to follow the guidelines and have a discussion with the government. Now, they went to court to challenge the government),”AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)

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