This file photo shows Angkas riders participating in what was dubbed as “Unite Ride” to decry the crackdown on the drivers of the motorcycle-hailing company.
The STAR/Michael Varcas, File
Recto seeks to lift ban on motorcycles-for-hire
( - January 25, 2019 - 6:12pm

MANILA, Philippines — Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto filed a bill that seeks to lift the ban on two-wheel vehicles from ferrying passengers.

Senate Bill 2173 aims to classify public utility motorcycles as those with engines of at least 125 cc and can travel faster than 50 kilometers per hour. The proposed bill seeks to add a new section in Republic Act 4136 or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code.

Recto said the bill was filed as a response to the call of the Supreme Court and the Department of Transportation that RA 4163 must be first amended before motorcycle ride-sharing services can be legally accredited.

“Without this amendment, there is no way that authority to operate motorcycles as PUVs or transport network vehicle service such as Angkas can be granted administratively,” he said.

The lawmaker added: “I hope this bill triggers discussion on how government shall treat this growing transportation phenomenon of motorcycles ferrying paying passengers.”

Under his proposed bill, the operation of public utility motorcycles, including safety features shall be governed by the rules prescribed by the Land Transportation and Regulatory Board and the DOTr.

“Legalizing motorcycles-for-hire would help regulate its operations, at the same time protect both the driver and the riding public. At a time when jobs are scarce, it provides a livelihood opportunity,” Recto said.

Rep. Rufino Biazon (Muntinlupa) filed a counterpart bill in the lower house.

Earlier, the DOTr said that allowing motorcycles to function as public transport services requires “thorough study, deliberation and assessment.”

Last December, the Supreme Court stopped the operations of Angkas after issuing a temporary restraining order against an earlier ruling of a lower court, which had prevented the Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board to apprehend drivers of Angkas. — Gaea Katreena Cabico

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