Legalizing motorcycle taxis eyed after 4-year pilot study

Lady Vicencio, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 23 2023 06:14 PM

Riders of motor taxi-hailing firms Angkas and JoyRide are shown in this file photo. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/file
Riders of motor taxi-hailing firms Angkas and JoyRide are shown in this file photo. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/file

Raising cap on number of riders also urged

MANILA - The Senate Committee on Public Services is looking into developing a regulatory framework to legalize motorcycle taxis and courier services after a 4-year pilot study. 

Senator Grace Poe, sitting as the committee’s chairperson, said motorcycles for hire are a viable source of income for motorcycle riders, but much is needed to be done to ensure safety standards are upheld.

“We need to legalize, to reflect the reality on the ground, but we also need the highest safety standard to make this a true mobility alternative,” Poe said.

Services such as Angkas were first allowed to operate in May 2019 under a six-month pilot program to see if the service is safe for commuters. The program was extended several times over four years, even as legislation that would have made it legal remained pending. 

The Inter-Agency Technical Working Group on Motorcycle Taxis recommended that motorcycle taxis are safe, according to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board.

With the increased demand from motorcycle taxi passengers, the committee is also looking into the possibility of raising the cap on the number of riders.

During the pilot study, around 45,000 riders were given provisional authority to operate motorcycle taxis.

But Angkas CEO George Royeca said only 30 percent of their riders are in service during peak hours.

“Nawawala rin kasi and riders, kasi some moved on, especially during the pandemic kasi they went back to the provinces. Marami diyan tinatawag naming bakero which means nagtatrabaho talaga tuloy-tuloy. But a lot of bikers also do not want to go out during peak kasi maraming tao, maraming kompetensya,” Royeca said.

The Philippine Competition Commission also supported increasing the rider cap and to allow more companies to venture in the industry.

“In terms of joining or market situations, more players will be better for the consumers. No cap will be better. Let the market dictate on the extent of the motorcycle limits,” PCA Executive Director Kenneth Tanate said.
Poe noted that safety of the passengers and riders should be prioritized should motorcycle-for-hire be legislated.

Comprehensive insurance coverage should also be given to passengers and riders in case of road accidents.


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