By Hannah Torregoza and Alexandria San Juan
An official from the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) said motorcycles-for-hire will be declared “illegal” and will be impounded starting next week.
LTFRB Board Member Antonio Gardiola Jr. disclosed this to reporters in an interview on Monday prior to a Senate hearing on the various measures seeking to regulate motorcycle taxis.
According to Gardiola, they have recommended the termination of the pilot study meant to assess the safety of bikes for public transport and this was approved by Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade.
“It’s really very significant but then it’s also half of the three months ‘yung study natin, we cannot gather data because of the legal impediments,” Gardiola said.
Gardiola said they have submitted their report to Congress and will start enforcement next week.
“Parang magulo eh (It seems messy). We are resorting to legal rigmarole sa nangyayaring ito (with what’s happening). Bale, nagfile sila ng kaso na nai-impede ang study (They filed a case saying the study was impeded)…We cannot gather data because of actions being undertaken by one of the players, so it is better to terminate it.”
Gardional, who heads the technical working group (TWG) heading the pilot run, said that the motorcycle taxis will be deemed “illegal.”
“Ilegal silang lahat kasi (they are all illegal because) they are drawing their authority to run motorcycle because of the study. We know there is a law covering this, Republic Act 4136, it says that motorcycles are still considered as a private mode of transportation,” Gardiola said.
“So maybe a week from now, we will start enforcement already.”
The Senate has resumed sessions this week, with senators tackling on Monday various measures that seek to regulate motorcycle-taxis in the Philippines.
Sen. Grace Poe, chair of the Senate public services committee, said the panel’s hearing will focus on the results of the pilot run, the supply cap set by the government inter-agency regulator, and the issue regarding the ownership of motorcycle taxis.