In its recommendation submitted to lawmakers and the DOTr, the TWG stressed that the earlier issuance of a 20-day temporary restraining order by the Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 223, which temporarily prevented the imposition of the 10,000-rider cap, had “greatly compromised the integrity of the study’s data gathering design.”
Release / Angkas
Motorcycle taxi pilot run to continue, TWG confirms
Richmond Mercurio, Neil Jayson Servallos (The Philippine Star) - January 22, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Motorcycle taxis will continue operating in Metro Manila and Cebu as the Department of Transportation (DOTr) decided to continue its pilot study in the meantime, the technical working group (TWG) studying the legality of motorcycles-for-hire said yesterday.

“We will continue with the pilot study, but then we will come up with guidelines, we will talk to the providers with the guidance of the transport secretary,” Antonio Gardiola said in an interview aired on CNN Philippines.

Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go announced on Monday following a Senate committee on public services hearing on motorcycle taxi bills that the Department of Transportation (DOTr) would continue its pilot testing of motorcycle taxis.

Go said he was able to persuade Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board chairman Martin Delgra III and Gardiola to scrap the plan to stop the pilot testing.

This was affirmed yesterday by Gardiola, who said Go talked to him and asked him to reconsider.

What prompted the TWG to continue the program, despite its earlier decision to terminate it, was the sentiment of senators and resource persons present during the hearing on motorcycle taxi regulation last Monday, Gardiola said.

In its recommendation submitted to lawmakers and the DOTr, the TWG stressed that the earlier issuance of a 20-day temporary restraining order by the Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 223, which temporarily prevented the imposition of the 10,000-rider cap, had “greatly compromised the integrity of the study’s data gathering design.”

The TWG added that the pending cases filed by Angkas before the Quezon City RTC Branch 223 and the Mandaluyong City RTC Branch 212, questioning the study’s revised guidelines, have also hampered the implementation of the study, which will run until March 23.

While the TWG has decided to continue the pilot test for now, Gardiola said they were not mistaken when they decided to discontinue the program.

“For me … if you are conducting a study, it will be very difficult to gather data when you are being restrained. It’s also very difficult to implement guidelines if they are not heeded. Without regulation, it is anarchy,” Gardiola said in a mix of English and Filipino.

Cagayan de Oro included

The government has included Cagayan de Oro City as a testing area for the pilot run, Assistant Transportation Secretary Alberto Suansing said yeterday.

Suansing, a consultant of the TWG, said the decision to include Cagayan de Oro was reached during a meeting yesterday with the three stakeholders – Angkas, Move It and JoyRide.

Tugade and members of the TWG, led by Gardiola, were present during the meeting.

The TWG is also considering General Santos City as another area for testing, Suansing said.

He added that the number of rider participants will also increase, but did not go into specifics.

The TWG said it invited the ride-hailing firms and other stakeholders in a meeting at the Land Transportation Office today to present what was discussed and agreed upon yesterday.

The pilot run was launched last year as lawmakers have set their sights on regulating motorcycle taxis as safe alternative public utility vehicles.  – With Paolo Romero, Edu Punay, Emmanuel Tupas

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