MANILA The chairman of the House committee on Metro Manila development on Friday urged the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to allow motorcycle ridehailing firm Angkas to continue its operation for the sake of public interests.
In a statement, Quezon City Rep. Winnie Castelo said the DOTr can issue a Department Order to allow Angkas' ridehailing operations in the same manner that transportation network companies (TNC) or transport network vehicle services (TNVS) like Grab were allowed to do so.
A mere DO can suffice to lessen the suffering of the commuting public. DOTr should realize this. If they cannot provide efficient and reliable mass transportation system as they are mandated to do, they should at least be creative and use modern technology. We should not be technical and legalistic on this while millions of Filipinos are suffering from traffic and losing PHP2 billion in lost opportunities, Castelo said.
DOTr can give its best Christmas gift to the suffering public by withdrawing its petition to the Supreme Court against Angkas, Castelo added.
The Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) earlier this month ordering Angkas to stop its operations.
Castelo also noted that there are pending bills filed in Congress that would legalize motorcycles for hire.
This would take a lot of time because of the long legislative process. There are other ways to legalize it, to expedite its operations especially now that we are suffering from traffic congestion aggravated due to the holidays, Castelo said.
The DOTr has created a technical working group (TWG) that will review the issue of making motorcycles as a mode of public transport.
In a statement on Friday, the DOTr said the TWG will consist of the DOTr, Land Transportation Office, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, Philippine National Police�Highway Patrol Group, Metro Manila Development Authority and representatives of the Senate, House of Representatives, commuter welfare groups, road safety advocates, motorcycle manufacturers, motorcycle organizations, and law schools.
The TWG will conduct deliberations on various issues covering the capability of the motorcycles and drivers for public transport service which are: the types of motorcycles to be permitted; acceptable travel speed of motorcycles for hire; whether to allow the motorcycles on all roads or be limited only to secondary roads or areas not serviced by large vehicles such as buses or trucks; seat and helmet requirements and training for motorcycle bikers that will register as public utility vehicle drivers.
The Supreme Court issued a TRO last December 5 against the decision of the Mandaluyong Regional Trial Court to interfere with Angkas' operations.
It prevented the implementation of the writ of preliminary injunction issued by Judge Carlos Valenzuela of Mandaluyong RTC Branch 213 last August in favor of Angkas, which prohibited the DOTr and LTFRB from apprehending Angkas bikers.
Tugade has ordered the LTFRB to apprehend Angkas bikers, who deliberately defy the order of the high court.
Angkas bikers and operators proven to have continued their service will be meted a PHP6,000 fine and to have their vehicles impounded for three months. They will also be blacklisted from securing a franchise from the LTFRB.
Under Republic Act 4136 or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code, motorcycles are not allowed to operate as public transport services. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency