MANILA, Philippines — The Mandaluyong City Regional Trial Court has granted a 72-hour temporary restraining order (TRO) against a government policy that limits the number of Angkas riders in the ongoing motorcycle taxi pilot run.
Executive Judge Ofelia Calo signed on Monday (January 6) the TRO which restrains the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and the Department of Transportation (DOTr) from implementing the motor taxi pilot program’s revised guidelines which has set a 10,000 cap in Metro Manila and 3,000 riders in Metro Cebu per company imposed by the technical working group (TWG).
The court argued that all 17,000 accredited Angkas riders who were allowed to join the pilot would suffer “grave irreparable injury as they stand to lose their jobs.”
Meanwhile, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) in its social media post said it has yet to receive the official copy of the TRO.
“We will comment on the merit of said TRO issuance, as soon as the same has been duly received,” the statement reads.
“Whatever legal process we will have to go through, we, at the TWG, will always be guided by our respect and abeyance for due process of law.Our action and disposition will remain constant amid this new legal challenge,” it read further.
The TWG expressed confidence that it is on firm legal ground in its administration of the Motorcycle Taxi Service Pilot Implementation program.
MANILA, Philippines — The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) advises media giant ABS-CBN to appeal for a temporary restraining order (TRO) with the Supreme Court (SC) to resume broadcast on TV and radio after its shutdown on Tuesday evening (May 5).
According to NTC Deputy Commissioner Edgardo Cabarios, a TRO is ABS-CBN’s potential remedy for now to stop the cease and desist order issued by the agency after the network’s franchise lapsed on May 4.
“If they get the TRO then they can resume operation,” Cabarios said.
The NTC explained that only the Congress has the power to grant a franchise to media networks in the country.
“Section 1 kasi ng Act 3846 ay klaro na kung wala kang congressional franchise, you cannot operate radio broadcasting stations, [Section 1 of Republic Act 3846 is clear, without congressional franchise you cannot operate radio broadcasting stations],” the NTC official said.
Cabarios clarified, however, that ABS-CBN programs may still be aired on other platforms.
“Pwede sa online, Internet, pwede ring cable television or pwede ring sa ibang radio and television stations na mayroon valid franchise at authority from the Commission [They can go online, they may use the Internet or other cable, radio or television stations that have valid franchise and authority from the Commission],” he noted.
Meanwhile, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines condemned the NTC’s action saying it was an attack on press freedom.
“The cease and desist order issued by the NTC against ABS-CBN is a deplorable assault on free press that further reveals that this administration is more interested in restricting basic freedoms than in containing a pandemic,” the group said in a statement.
The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) noted the importance of the media’s role in democracy.
“Gusto lang natin na ma-tackle ito, ma-deliberate ito, [We want this tackled and deliberated],” argued CHR spokesperson, Atty. Jacqueline De Guia.
“Kasi ang isa sa mga suliranin sa kasong ito ay hindi nagkakaroon ng tamang pagdinig doon sa issue na kinakaharap para sa pagre-renew ng franchise, [One of the problems in this case is the lack of deliberation on the franchise renewal]” she concluded. MNP (with details from Rey Pelayo)
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said they will apprehend motorcycle taxis who are not registered in the pilot test run.
MMDA Chairman Jojo Garcia said apprehended motorcycle taxis will be impounded and the company they belong to might be blacklisted.
“Iyong mga nagu-uniporme na Angkas na wala sa master list, huhulihin namin kayo. Huwag ninyo po abusuhin (Those in Angkas uniform that are not in the master list, we will apprehend you. Don’t abuse it),” he said.
Motorcycle taxi companies were given a 15,000-biker cap in the number of drivers that will be registered for the pilot test run.
“So, I’m warning Angkas, Move It, and Joyride kung 15,000 lang iyong binigay sa inyong (if you only gave 15,000 on your list) , make sure it’s 15,000. Nothing more,” Garcia said.
Meanwhile, Motorcycle Taxi Service Inter-agency Technical Working Group Chairman Antonio Gardiola Jr. said Move It was not able to fill the 15,000-biker cap so the available slots will be up for redistribution.
“Starting today, the unused cap—the difference there can be taken advantage by the company na may (with) available riders diyan,” he said.—AAC (with reports from Asher Cadapan Jr.)
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) said authorities will deploy “mystery passengers” to inspect motorcycle taxis under the Motorcycle Taxi Pilot Implementation Study of the Technical Working Group (TWG).
According to the Facebook post of the DOTr, the Task Force of Other Law Enforcement Agencies (OLEAS) is tasked to deploy the ‘mystery passengers’.
“Aktwal na iniinspeksyon ng mga mystery passengers ang mga gamit pangkaligtasan at pambiyaheng dokumento ng mga rider participants ng Motorcycle Transport Network Companies (TNCs) (Mystery passengers will inspect the safety equipment and travel documents of rider participants of theMotorcycle Transport Network Companies (TNCs),” the post reads.
Motorcycle riders that are not registered with the TWG will be apprehended, the DOTr warned.—AAC
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