Motorcycle taxi TWG says ending pilot test early sans data, conclusions
In this Dec. 22, 2019 photo, thousands of Angkas riders gather to protest the 10,000-rider cap imposed on the company by LTFRB.
The STAR/Edd Gumban, file
Motorcycle taxi TWG says ending pilot test early sans data, conclusions
( - January 20, 2020 - 11:00am

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 1:37 p.m.) — Motorcycle taxis will no longer be allowed to operate starting next week, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board member Antonio Gardiola Jr., said Monday after the technical working group conducting the study decided to recommend ending it without making any conclusions.

With the termination of the pilot test, the provisional authority given to motorcycle taxis to operate in Metro Manila and in Cebu.

"They are all illegal," Gardiola told reporters in Filipino before a hearing by the Senate committee on public services.

Gardiola also said the recommendation to ban all three motorcyle hailing apps — Angkas, Joyride and Move It — will be enforced by next week.

Speaking before senators, he said said the TWG has recommended termination of the pilot study and that Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade has approved it.

He said that the termination of the study should only be seen in the context of the safety study and that the riders who will potentially lose their incomes are not part of the considerations of the study.

Sen. Grace Poe, chair of the Senate Commitee on Public Services, scolded the inter-agency TWG for recommending the termination of the study on motorcycle taxis despite the lack of data.

"Congress was pressured to pass the law but we lack data. We depended on you but you canceled it instead because you don't want to do your job," Poe in Filipino.

TWG has no data to work with

He said that the original technical working group had recommended the extension of the pilot test of motorcycle taxis—it was supposed to be extended until March 23—because they did not have enough data to evaluate the safety of the proposed new mode of public utility transportation.

"Our only basis was the report from Angkas that the TWG does not have data to counter," he said in Filipino. He added that the TWG decided to end the study because "we cannot move because of legal impediments."

He said the TWG has not made any conclusions on whether motorcycle taxis are safe.

The LTFRB has submitted its report to the Senate Committee on Public Services, which is scheduled to tackle the regulation of using motorcycles as public utility vehicles.

The report will also be submitted to the House Committee on Transportation by next week, according to Gardiola.

— Patricia Lourdes Viray

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