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    Lawmakers seek resumption of motorcycle ride hailing ops

    The leadership of the committee on transportation at the House of Representatives is seeking to resume the operations of the motorcycle ride-hailing services—aka MC taxis—pending the creation of a law on it.


    House committee chair and Samar Representative Edgar Mary Sarmiento is urging the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) and the National Task Force (NTF) on COVID-19 to allow the resumption of MC taxis while they have yet to craft a law about their operations.


    Sarmiento told CARMUDI that while they are still waiting for the full report from the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB)—being the lead agency on the technical working group (TWG) for motorcycle taxis.


    According to Sarmiento, the report that they have received is from Luzon only. “While we are waiting for it and crafting the law for it, we are suggesting to the IATF to allow motorcycle taxis to resume operations,” Sarmiento said.


    Sarmiento also revealed that based on the initial report that they have received from the LTFRB, they are in favor of MC taxis but are providing their own set of recommendations pending its legalization.


    Motorcycle backride


    The committee chair said that the appeal is made to help provide more transportation options to commuters that have to work despite the limited alternatives.


    The recommendation came after Quezon City Rep. Precious Castelo filed a motion before the committee hearing Friday. She also sought for tricycles to be allowed to ferry one additional passenger to help double capacity and cut costs.


    “As long as we can implement the relevant public health measures as advised by our partner experts, the motorcycle taxis and more passengers on tricycles will go a long way towards augmenting our current transport capacity, which has become the key bottleneck to reviving our economy,” Castelo said.


    Iloilo Representative Julienne Baronda expressed her support to extend the MC Taxi pilot study. 


    “Upon hearing Doc Belizario’s presentation from the UP College of Health, I would like to reiterate my motion in collaboration with experts and with respect to oversight of authorities in power, and move for the approval of the extension of testing of motorcycle taxi study in Metro Manila and selected areas under the supervision of IATF and NTF,” Baronda said, referring to the study made by Angkas and the University of the Philippines College of Public Health (UP-CPH) on public health safety protocols for MC taxis.


    Dr. Vicente Belizario noted that passengers in motorcycles are in an open-air environment with one passenger only, which represents a situation with reduced risk of COVID-19 transmission.


    Photo/s from Ruben Manahan IV

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