Friday, August 23, 2019

Tell it to SunStar: Legalize motor taxis, stop extortion

CONGRESS should pass new legislation that would allow motorcycles to run as public utility vehicles (PUVs).

Considering that motorcycle taxis have been mainstreamed by mobile ride-hailing applications, we might as well permit them and set standards for drivers and couriers in order to protect the riding public.

Besides addressing the need for on-demand door-to-door public transportation and courier services, the legalization of motorcycle taxis would help many Filipinos, including returning migrant workers and students, support themselves.

Legalization would also put an end to rampant extortion by corrupt agents of the law.

Right now, motorcycle taxi drivers are vulnerable to a shakedown wherever they go.

I have pushed for House Bill 8855, or the proposed Act Allowing Motorcycles as PUVs.

The bill seeks to amend the 55-year-old Land Transportation and Traffic Code that prohibits the use of motorcycles-for-hire in conveying both passengers and freight.

The Supreme Court recently issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) against a lower court decision that barred authorities from apprehending drivers operating under the ride-hailing firm Angkas.

The TRO was directed at the Mandaluyong Regional Trial Court Branch 213, which previously ruled that the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) could not arrest Angkas drivers.

Partly due to the rise of the two-wheeled vehicle as taxis, the number of newly registered motorcycles surged to an average annual rate of 19.62 percent since 2015, according to the Land Transportation Office (LTO).

Of the 2,942,142 motorcycles without sidecars registered from January to June 2018, LTO records show that 978,867, or 33 percent, were registered for the first time.--REP. LUIS N. CAMPOS JR., MAKATI CITY


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