DOTr’s TWG eyes 6-month extension of motorcycle taxis’ pilot implementation
Robie de Guzman • December 10, 2019 • 419
MANILA, Philippines – The inter-agency Technical Working Group (TWG) of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) is eyeing to extend for six months the pilot run of motorcycle ride-hailing services in the country.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, the DOTr said this is to allow the participation of new players in the study of the viability of motorcycles as a safe mode of public transportation.
The department said it has heard proposals on November 20 from six motorcycle taxi companies, namely, Citimuber, JoyRide, MoveIt, EsetGo, Sakay, and VroomGo, which are all aspiring to participate in the pilot run.
“We want to determine their operational readiness and compliance,” Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) member Antonio Gardiola Jr. said.
Gardiola, who heads the TWG, said the extension is seen as an expansion of the study and giving the riding public a wider choice, and “thus push the multiple providers to ensure a higher standard of service.”
He added that the pilot run extension also aims to provide the TWG more time to widen the scope of their study on appropriate standards and capacities for motorcycles to be considered safe, convenient, and eligible for franchise.
The TWG is composed of members that include representatives from the DOTr, LTFRB, Land Transportation Office (LTO) and the Inter-Agency Council for Traffic.
“We also want to determine whether or not motorcycles are really a safe and viable form of public transportation. That is always our priority — the safety, security, and comfort of the riding public,” Gardiola further stated.
In May, the DOTr allowed ride-hailing service Angkas to operate for six months as motorcycle taxi for six months starting June.
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 TWG said it has already submitted its recommendation, and a decision on the proposed extension will be released in the coming days.
MANILA, Philippines — The Senate Committee on Public Services on Tuesday said it has recommended the repeal of the department order and all issuances related to the delegation of the motor vehicle inspection system (MVIS) to private operators.
The panel, headed by Senator Grace Poe, said in its Committee Report No. 184 that the implementation of the MVIS is “flawed” and that the policy is “half-baked.”
“In the meantime, the repeal of DOTr DO (Department Order) 2018-19 and all related issuances is recommended,” the report read.
“While fees have been lowered for now and testing seems to have been made optional, the implementation of this flawed program must be stopped definitively pending the resolution of issues hounding it,” it added.
The committee cited in its report various concerns on the implementation of the MVIS.
These include the issues on the legality of the MVIS privatization, lack of consultation and transparency in accreditation, inadequate number of inspection centers in operation, glitches in the system, and overall incompatibility of private motor vehicle inspection systems with the Land Transportation Office (LTO) IT and landscape of motor vehicles in the country.
The panel said these issues remain unresolved without decisive action from the Department.
It further recommended that the Senate blue ribbon committee conduct a probe on the “highly anomalous transactions” surrounding the accreditation of Private Motor Vehicle Inspection Centers (PMVICs) and officials involved.
“The questionable issuances seem to have created a favorable environment for an oligopoly where only very few players can enter and succeed,” the report stated.
“The inexplicable dark moments during the evaluation process and lack of transparency in the eventual accreditation of winning service providers bear badges of fraud which should be further investigated by the appropriate committee,” it added.
The panel likewise pointed out in its report that the absence of clear definition of roadworthiness, coupled with identified flaws in the inspection standards, “almost guarantees that there will be errors in the test results.”
“[N]ot only that this might lead to corruption, some also believe that it intends to facilitate the phaseout of older vehicles without due process,” it added.
The report also emphasized that while “the policy of ensuring only roadworthy vehicles ply our roads is commendable, a half-baked policy is a bad policy.”
Poe earlier asked the DOTr and the LTO to submit the names of the companies and incorporators of the accredited PMVICs.
The committee report said that 12 out of 24 of them do not have enough capitalization to finance an expensive inspection center costing more than P50 million, and eight others registered as sole proprietorships contained no information as to their financial standing.
It also pointed out that with only 24 PMVICs currently operational out of 458 originally targeted by the LTO, the unclear noncompulsory status of the MVIS only leads to more confusion for motorists.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier said that the MVIS will no longer be mandatory following criticisms in its implementation.
The Transportation department also announced that PMVIC testing fees were lowered from P1,500 to P600 for private vehicles, and from P600 to P500 for motorcycles. The rate for public utility jeepneys, on the other hand, will remain at P300.
MANILA, Philippines – All individuals inside a vehicle are required to wear face masks, regardless if they are from the same household, the transportation and health departments said Friday.
In a joint statement, the two agencies said that the wearing of face masks is mandatory when the driver is with passengers inside the vehicle even if they are from the same household.
A driver can only remove his/her face mask if travelling alone.
This is pursuant to the decision of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID), the two agencies said.
The transportation department said law enforcement agencies are yet to discuss and agree on how to implement the policy as well as the penalties to be imposed for violations.
The DOH-DOTr noted in their joint statement that proper coordination shall be made with and between the Land Transportation Office, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, the Inter-Agency Council for Traffic, Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG), other law enforcement agencies, and local government traffic offices/units, concerning the proper implementation of this unified and clarified policy, and the imposition of appropriate fines and penalties for violations thereof, in accordance with existing laws, rules and regulations. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Joan Nano)
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