Motorcycles for public transportation under study by DOTr

Marje Pelayo   •   December 24, 2018   •   1796

(file photo)

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has created a technical working group (TWG) to study on the possible legalization of motorcycles for public transportation.

The idea was in consideration of the existing temporary restraining order (TRO) filed against the operation of motorcycle ride-hailing service ‘Angkas’.

The TWG is composed of members from the DOTR, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board; Land Transportation Office; the Metropolitan Manila Development Auhtority; and the PNP Highway Patrol Group.

Other members of the group include members from the Senate, the House of Representatives, commuters and road safety advocates, as well as motorcycle manufacturers, motorcycle organization and members from law schools.

According to Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, deliberations on the proposal will prioritize passenger safety as well as the responsibilities of the motorcycle driver in the event of an accident.

In his statement, Tugade sai that the agency “understand that a number of Filipinos patronize motorcycles as public transport.”

“But we should remember that there is a law against this, and the Supreme Court has issued a TRO. The law is the law, and the executive will not be the first to break it. But we at the DOTr know how to listen,” he added.

The DOTr and the LTFRB earlier maintained that under Republic Act 4136, the use of motorcycles for public transportation is prohibited in the Philippines.

As for the ride-hailing company ‘Angkas’, its management has already submitted their comment and is now awaiting the final decision from the Supreme Court as regards their operation. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Joan Nano)

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 clarifies: PUV Modernization will push through

Marje Pelayo   •   November 21, 2019

(L-R) DOTr Sec. Arthur P. Tugade and a fleet of modernized jeepney units

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) clarified that it is not holding off the implementation of the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP).

In a statement released Wednesday (November 20), the agency rectified earlier reports that it has plans to defer the said program following the Senate deliberation on the Department’s P147-billion proposed budget for 2020.

Walang sinabi ang DOTr na hindi nito itutuloy ang pagpapatupad ng PUV Modernization Program, (The DOTr did not say that it is dropping the implementation of the PUV Modernization Program),” the DOTr said in a statement.

The agency explained that what transpired during the Senate deliberation was a condition in case operators of old PUV units fail to modermize their units come July 2020.

“Ang nabanggit ay kung sakali mang mabigo ang mga operator ng mga lumang jeepney na mag-modernize ng kanilang mga unit pagsapit ng Hulyo 2020, pansamantala ay pahihintulutan muna sila ng DOTr na makapamasada sa kondisyong papasa ang kanilang mga lumang unit sa roadworthiness test sa ilalim ng technology-based Motor Vehicle Inspection System (MVIS), na walang human intervention,” the DOTr clarified.

(What was said was, in case operators of old jeepney units fail to modernize their units until July 2020, the DOTr will allow them to operate temporarily with their old units provided that their old units pass the road-worthiness test under the technology-based Motor Vehicle Inspection System (MVIS), without any human intervention.)

If they pass the MVIS, the Department said, “the Land Transportation Franchising & Regulatory Board (LTFRB) will grant them Provisional Authority (PA) valid for one year only, as they need to undergo road worthiness check via MVIS every year as well.”

To secure a PA, PUV operators need to submit a petition for consolidation on or before June 30, 2020 including a petition expressing their intention to join the PUVMP.

If they fail to submit on deadline, the “prior operator rule” will lapse and their franchise will be given to cooperatives who are PUVMP compliant.

“Oras na may PUVMP-compliant na kooperatiba o korporasyon na ang mabigyan ng prangkisa sa rutang tinatakbuhan ng lumang jeepney, automatic na makakansela na ang PA na ibinigay ditto,” the DOTr stressed.

(Once the franchise line is given to PUVMP-compliant cooperative or corporation, the PA granted to old units will be automatically cancelled.)

The DOTr remains firm that the PUVMP, a directive by President Rodrigo Duterte himself, is necessary to ensure the safety of commuters as the modernized jeepney units are equipped with safety features and designs in protection and convenience not just of the commuters but of the drivers as well.

Likewise, the program aims to curb pollution and to improve the income and livelihood of operators and drivers in the country.

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