Bill legalizing motorcycle taxis pushed

Delon Porcalla - The Philippine Star
Bill legalizing motorcycle taxis pushed
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

MANILA, Philippines — Speaker Martin Romualdez yesterday served notice to his colleagues in the House of Representatives about the “prioritization” of measures that will help mitigate the burden of commuters in public transportation, like the proposal to utilize motorcycle taxis.

“This legislative move is in direct response to President Marcos’ advocacy for increased transportation options for the Filipino people, as demonstrated by his support for the legalization of motorcycle taxis and the easing of TNVS (transportation network vehicle service) regulations,” Romualdez said in a statement.

Among the pieces of legislation mentioned was House Bill 3412 authored by 1Rider party-list  Representatives Bonifacio Bosita and Rodge Gutierrez, which seeks to legalize motorcycles as public transportation vehicles and reform the TNVS regulations.

The Speaker said the President’s stance was expressed following his meeting with officials from Grab Holdings Inc. at Malacañang, which underscored the need for diverse and accessible transportation solutions.

“The maintenance of peace and order, the protection of life, liberty, and property, and the promotion of the general welfare are foundational to our democracy. It’s imperative to adapt our laws to the evolving transportation landscape to ensure the well-being and convenience of our citizens,” Romualdez said.

The Bosita-Gutierrez bill aims to address the legal barriers that currently prevent motorcycles from being used as common carriers, thereby fostering a more inclusive and flexible transportation framework.

This initiative is also seen as a step toward formalizing the status of motorcycle taxis, which have been operating under pilot testing in Metro Manila and Cebu since 2019.

Romualdez urged his colleagues and stakeholders to support the bill, emphasizing the positive impact it will have on commuters, the transportation sector and the economy at large.

Meanwhile, Manila 3rd District Rep. Joel Chua, vice chairman of the House committee on Metro Manila development, has welcomed the Department of Transportation-Technical Working Group (DOTr-TWG)’s decision to exclude Grab in the pilot study on motorcycle transport services or MC taxis.

Chua said that Grab appeared to have committed various violations, thus the DOTr-TWG’s ruling was only fair.

“During the committee hearing, we discovered several violations on the part of Grab so it’s a welcome development that it is excluded. It was the right decision, a fair decision on the part of the DOTr-TWG,” he added.

The decision to exclude Grab apparently emanated from the MC taxi TWG.

LTFRB Chairman Teofilo Guadiz III heads the DOTr-TWG.

Asked if the Metro Manila development panel will pursue further accountability from Grab regarding its violations, Chua answered: “We will abide by the decision of the committee.”

He earlier castigated Grab for its supposed attempt to bypass government regulations and gain dominance in the app-based transportation sector.

He said this began in August 2022, when Grab acquired Move It, an MC taxi company, despite the DOTr’s rejection of the partnership.

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