JANUARY 20, 2020 – In a sudden reversal of policy, the transportation department’s panel on Monday announced the termination of its study on motorcycle taxi operations and ban the two-wheeled transport services next week.
Antonio Gardiola Jr. a member of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), made the surprised announcement before the start of Senate’s inquiry on motorcycle taxi regulation.
“We submitted our recommendation to Congress this morning,” Gardiola told reporters, saying the decision was “favorably endorsed by our secretary, Secretary Arthur Tugade.”
“Parang magulo eh. We are resorting to legal rigmarole sa nangyayaring ito. File sila ng kaso na nai-impede ang study,” Gardiola added.
He said it is better to terminate the study due to the actions being taken by one of the operators that makes it difficult for them to gather data.
The technical working group’s decision came weeks after the regulating body and ride-hailing firm Angkas had been on a dispute over the imposed cap on registered bikers that can ply roads.
With the termination of study, motorcycle taxis will be deemed illegal.
Last December, the technical working group decided to extend the implementation of motorcycle taxi service’s pilot program until March this year.
Two new operators were also given the right to participate namely Joyride and Move It.
But Angkas protested the overall cap of 39,000 registered bikers set by the group, with 10,000 each per motorcycle taxi company operating in Metro Manila and 3,000 each for firms operating in Metro Cebu.
While Angkas said almost 20,000 of its bikers lose their jobs, Gardiola gave firm assurances no one will lose their jobs with the policy.
He also warned that Angkas could be blacklisted for alleged violation of rules during the test run on price surge and operating beyond identified areas.
The government created the technical working group following the demands from the commuting public and some lawmakers for an affordable and fast way to brave the metropolitan’s worsening traffic.
The group is tasked to discuss the safety of two-wheeled vehicles for public transportation service.
The government has allowed the operation of four-wheeled vehicles for ride sharing such as Grab but the firm was accused of overcharging. (Karen Macalalad/MM)
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