By Charissa Luci-Atienza
Lawmakers called on Wednesday the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to consider amending a department order to group motorcycle-taxis under the jurisdiction of Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).
Quezon City Rep. Winston Castelo, chairman of the House Committee on Metro Manila Development, said it is about time for the DOTr to amend its order to include two-wheeled vehicles or motorcycles under the Transport Network Vehicle Services (TNVS) category.
“Why not amend the department order, you could easily amend it and include motorcycles. The best thing to do is to have it regulated,” he said during a panel hearing yesterday.
He asked the LTFRB to come up with the guidelines that would regulate motorcycles.
“Why doesn’t the Board of the LTFRB meet and come up with guidelines on the motorcycles? We can help our commuters by regulating them because riding motorcycles is much cheaper and faster,” Castelo said.
LTFRB Executive Director, Atty. Samuel Jardin assured Castelo that the Board would tackle the proposed amendment to the Department Order 2015-011.
“We will have it on the agenda of the board,” Jardin said.
The department order groups sedans, Asian utility vehicles, sports utility vehicles, vans or other similar vehicles under the TNVS category.
During the hearing, Marikina Rep. Bayani Fernando asked colleagues not to turn a blind eye on motorcycle-taxis.
“Baka pwede pikit mata na lang tayo sa kanila. Hayaan na lang natin sila. Wag na natin pakialaman ang habal habal, but of course, we have to implement safety measures,” he said.
During the hearing, Rod Cruz, president of the Arangkada National Alliance expressed strong opposition against habal habal, as he called for the legalization of motorcycle taxis.
“We reiterate that we do not support habal habal, but we support the legalisation of motorcycle taxis,” he said.
Cruz said in 2017 alone, there are 5 million registered motorcycles and in a span of three years, there are more than 10 million motorcycles sold.