TWG Files Petition for Senate, Congress to Step into the Pilot Run of Motorcycle Taxis

Ciara Alarcon
Original members of the Technical Working Group (TWG) has urged the Senate and Congress to step in and investigate the irregularities surrounding the fate of motorcycle taxis' pilot run.

TWG Files Petition for Senate, Congress to Step into the Pilot Run of Motorcycle Taxis
TWG Files Petition for Senate, Congress to Step into the Pilot Run of Motorcycle Taxis

TWG members also calls for transparency and inclusivity in the said decision-making process.

The excluded TWG members pointed out that there’s a lack of update and proper consultation with stakeholders despite regular follow-ups and request for updates on urgent issues, such as the pilot run of motorcycle taxis. Hence, they filed a petition asking the Senate and Congress to step in, and finally pass a law legalizing and regulating motorcycle taxis.

“The TWG is supposed to monitor the safety of the riders and the riding public using data collected, by Angkas, within a six-month period. Despite repeated requests from the sector for the TWG to convene, a secret meeting was conducted, last November 2019, with solely government agencies in attendance, to make an assessment. Hence, the consumers, advocacy groups and other stakeholders, were excluded from decision-making. This prompted us to ask for updates from those who were present and pleaded that the complete TWG be convened in the future,” the petition stated.

The excluded members of the group also revealed that TWG recently convened several meetings on key issues, including updates on the pilot run and its possible extension, as well as the entry of new players without consulting the original stakeholders outside of the Department of Transportation (DOTr).

The group also uncovered that only the DOTr, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), the Land Transportation Office (LTO), and the InterAgency Council for Traffic (IACT) have decided on the said issues.

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With this, transport and mobility advocates Lawyers for Commuter Safety and Protection (LCSP), KOMYUT, LEADER, Move Metro Manila, and FTransport Watch issued a joint statement decrying these irregularities.

“In principle we agree with the need for the motorcycle taxi safety protocols to be extended to and applied to other motorcycle taxi service providers. Competition is good and should be a welcome development. We are just concerned with the process through which this decision was made without us having been called into a meeting at all,” Dr. Grace Jamon, Convenor of Move Metro Manila, addressed.

The group also stated that they need to hear from and coordinate with motorcycle taxi app Angkas in order for them to find out their official data, which was gathered during their six-month test run operations.

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