COMMUTERS and motorcycle drivers stand to benefit from the Department of Transportation’s order to reconstitute the technical working group on motorcycle taxis, according to motorcycle taxi firm Move It.
The November 7 order will allow motorcycle taxis to continue operating while Congress deliberates on proposed legislation to legalize and regulate motorcycle taxi ride-hailing services in the country, Move It said in a press statement.
“While we await for that law, it is important that our commuters continue to have access to affordable, safe and faster mode of public transportation that is MC taxi,” the statement said.
Move It, which Grab Philippines acquired this year, is one of three firms participating in the government’s pilot study on the safety and viability of motorcycle taxis.
The DOTr in 2019 issued an order creating a TWG for motorcycle taxi operations to review and revise their guidelines and to issue rules and regulations for their operations.
In his Department Order 2022-021, Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista said there was a need to reconstitute the TWG.
Bautista noted that informal motorcycle taxis or “habal-habal” have become widespread in rural areas and key cities, and said their proliferation has raised issues on road safety.
There have also been measures filed seeking to legalize motorcycles as public transportation alternative, he said.
“Pending the approval into law of the Bills, there is a need to have a body that will oversee and monitor the continuous pilot implementation of the MC taxi operations,” he said.
The TWG also has the power to review and supplement guidelines and regulations, ensure proper and effective coordination among all concerned government agencies and stakeholders involved, and ensure that the data and information from the pilot implementation shall be properly reviewed and submitted to Congress.
Legalize the motorcycle taxis, please
Move It said it hoped the reconstitution of the TWG would lead to the swift passage of the law legalizing and regulating motorcycle taxis.
“The growing traffic concern calls for various innovative options. In the metropolis, the legalization of MC taxi creates a seamless door to door experience for commuters,” it said.
It also appealed to the government to allow more players to join the motorcycle taxi industry and to allow “free and open competition” for the benefit of the public.
“It is about time that the government allows more players and not limit the MC taxi business to only three companies so that we can give our commuters more options. The convenience and safety of our commuters should be our primordial concern,” it said.
The TWG chair will be the DOTr Assistant Secretary and chief of the Land Transportation Office, while the vice chair will be a board member of the Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board.
The secretariat will be composed of representatives from the LTO and LTFRB.
Representatives from the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority and the Committees on Transportation of the House of Representatives and the Senate will also be part of the TWG to ensure a whole-of-government approach in the issuance of additional guidelines for the continued pilot implementation.
The other TWG members are the chief of the Inter-Agency Council for Traffic, chairperson of the Office for Transportation Cooperatives, chief of the LTO Law Enforcement Staff, chief of the LTFRB Technical Division, and representatives from the DOTr Road Transport and Infrastructure Office, or their duly authorized representatives.
Photo credit: Move It Facebook page