Recto bats for resumption of motorcycle taxi operations

Published October 14, 2020, 3:23 PM

by Vanne Elaine Terrazola

Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto has filed a measure supporting the calls to allow the resumption of motorcycle taxi operations to address the lack in public transportation.

Senate Ralph Recto (Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN)

Recto filed last Monday Senate Resolution No. 543, which supports the recommendation of the Inter-agency Task Force on the Management of the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) to continue the government’s pilot study of motorcycle taxis as supported by local chief executives in Metro Manila.

The resolution also seeks to call on the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to provide the necessary guidelines for the resumption of operations of motorcycle taxis.

Recto noted that the government has already eased the community quarantine protocols to allow to the reopening of the economy.

But “a transportation crisis particularly in Metro Manila ensued, as there was a lack of available public transportation for commuters since public transportation operation remains restricted,” he said.

“Since about 60 percent of the workforce in Metro Manila is unable to report for work due to the lack of available public transportation during the period
of the pandemic, it is undeniable that there is an urgent need for alternative modes of transportation to ferry the workers to and from their respective work areas,” he added.

He also stressed that motorcycle taxis have been considered a “cheaper and more convenient mode of public transportation.”

In his appeal, Recto said the recommendations that would come out of the continued pilot study on motorcycle taxis “would serve as valuable inputs to Congress as it tackles measures to address the current transportation crisis”.

The DOTr approved in June last year the pilot implementation of motorcycle taxis, such as Angkas, Joyride and MoveIt within Metro Manila and Metro Cebu in June 2019 to know whether they would be a viable and safe alternative mode of transportation.

Their operations were halted when lockdowns were imposed in Luzon in March due to the COVID-19 outbreak, even before the pilot study period was set to lapse.

With the pilot study ending, motorcycle taxi operations were again deemed illegal unless Congress crafts a law that would allow them as a mode of public transportation.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque, on Wednesday, urged Congress to act on the IATF recommendation through a resolution, or finally pass a law that would legalize their operations.