IATF approves resumption of motor taxis on the road

DELIVERY SERVICE NO MORE. Due to strict quarantine restrictions, drivers of motorcycle taxi-hailing services Angkas and JoyRide were forced to shift to food and item deliveries after backriding was prohibited nationwide. On Friday, Oct. 23, 2020, the Covid Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) approved the resumption of the motorcycle taxi pilot study giving motorcycle taxi services permission to resume operations pending government guidelines on riding motor taxis under the new normal. / SunStar file

AFTER eight months of halting motorcycle taxi services, the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) approved the resumption of the motorcycle taxi pilot study on Friday, Oct. 23, 2020.

This means that commuters can now look forward to riding Angkas and Joyride on the road, as the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) is tasked to issue the guidelines of riding motorcycle taxis under the new normal.

The IATF decision affects around 3,000 motorcycle taxi drivers in Cebu who had lost their income following strict quarantine restrictions brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a televised briefing on Friday, Oct. 23, 2020, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) approved the resumption of motorcycle taxis with the National Task Force Against Covid-19 and the Department of Transportation (DOTr) as the main implementors.

LTFRB 7 Director Eduardo Montealto Jr. said while awaiting guidelines from their mother agency in Metro Manila, he will recommend that the operation of motor taxis be limited only to the barangays’ inner roads which are inaccessible to four-wheeled vehicles.

“Even without our traditional PUJs, traffic is already very bad. How much more for this? They will really cause more traffic and they are also dangerous,” Montealto said in Cebuano.

He will also recommend that the drivers be made to undergo training in a driving academy to ensure passenger safety, Montealto said.

Montealto added that aside from the LTFRB, local government units (LGUs) would also need to decide whether to allow the operation of motorcycle taxis in their respective areas of jurisdiction.

Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año had said motor taxis are required to provide barriers upon operation.

Angkas and JoyRide

“Transportation is at the core of the reopening of the economy. And it has always been the advocacy of Angkas to provide inclusive transportation safely to the public, especially at this time of pandemic when 60 percent of the workforce need to go back to work and only 40 percent of public transport is available,” Angkas chief transport advocate George Royeca said.

Royeca said they are working on putting the necessary safety protocols to protect their riders and passengers from the coronavirus through barriers and cashless payment.

Royeca also advised passengers to invest in their own helmets.

He said Angkas’ partner dealer in Cebu, Motoactive Corp., which has branches in the cities of Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu, is offering up to 20 percent discounts on helmets.

Royeca said Angkas has posted guidelines on how to find the right type of helmet to invest in.

Meanwhile, JoyRide PH also welcomed the news of the IATF approval on the resumption of the motorcycle taxi pilot study.

“As a 100 percent Filipino-owned mobile-based ride hailing service provider, JoyRide from its inception has always endeavored to be a partner of the government in trying to uplift the lives of every Filipino,” Noli Eala, vice president of JoyRide, said in a statement.

“With the resumption of the motorcycle taxi services, particularly during this very difficult time of the pandemic, JoyRide is confident that we will continue to provide safe, efficient, reliable and affordable transport options for the riding public as well as livelihood to our rider partners,” Eala added.

Eala said JoyRide is committed to complying with all the health and safety protocols that will be imposed by the authorities.

“We will ensure that the welfare of the commuters will always be our primordial interest,” he said. / HBL, JOB


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