A technical working group (TWG) that Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade formed in December 2018 will start discussions Friday, January 18, 2019, on possible regulations to guide the operations of motorcycle taxis or motorcycles for hire.
In a statement issued in Filipino, the DOTR reiterated that a policy allowing motorcycles to provide public transport service needs comprehensive study and evaluation to ensure passenger safety.
The House of Representatives has initiated moves to amend the Land Transportation and Traffic Code, or Republic Act 4136, to legalize motorcycle taxi operations. Under the law, motorcycles are not allowed to provide public transport services.
The TWG discussions will be held alongside the debates at the House. The DOTR said the results of the TWG’s discussions may be submitted to Congress to guide lawmakers in crafting the amendments to the law.
The TWG will study, among others, the motorcycle specifications for public transport and qualifications of the driver.
Specifically, the TWG will discuss the minimum cubic centimeter (cc) capacity of a motorcycle taxi, its travel speed, routes, seat and helmet requirements, and training requirements for the biker who will have to register as a public utility vehicle (PUV) driver.
The TWG will also discuss which government agency would issue the franchise to motorcycle taxis. Will it be the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) or the local government units (LGUs)? If LGUs are allowed to issue the franchise, will motorcycle taxis be allowed to cross municipal borders?
The group will also tackle the issue of allowing mobile hailing services and other e-motorcycles, such as Angkas.
Discussions will focus on ensuring passenger safety and identifying the parties liable for accidents involving a motorcycle taxi.
“It is easy to say that motorcycle taxis are convenient. They are fast and they can weave across lanes to beat the traffic. But in case of accidents, who will pay the hospital bills or the funeral expenses of the passengers? Will it be the driver or the owner? For DOTr, it is very important to ensure the safety and security of the passenger,” the agency added.
The TWG is composed on representatives from the DOTr, Land Transportation Office (LTO), LTFRB, Philippine National Police – Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG), Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Senate, House of Representatives, commuter welfare groups, road safety advocates, motorcycle manufacturers, motorcycle organizations, and law schools. (Ventures Cebu)