Gov’t Allows Motorcycle Taxi Pilot Study To Resume

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has allowed the resumption of the pilot study on motorcycle taxis.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said this comes after the House of Representatives approved to extend the conduct of the motorcycle taxi pilot study program.

“Mabuting balita po iyan dahil pwede na naman tayong mag-Angkas and Joyride (That’s good news because we can take Angkas and Joyride again),” Roque said in a news briefing.

According to IATF Resolution No. 80, the National Task Force against Covid-19 and the Department of Transportation (DOTr) shall implement and monitor the pilot program.

Roque earlier said motorcycle taxi service providers like Angkas will need to acquire a resolution from Congress before they can resume operations.

Roque said the “best solution” is to pass the law granting a franchise to motorcycle taxis.

“The best solution of course is for Congress to pass the franchise as law already but we leave that to the sound judgment of Congress,” he said.

The Motorcycle Taxi (MC Taxi) Technical Working Group (TWG) has completed the pilot run of MC taxis back in March.

Following the government’s green light for the return of motorcycle taxis, DOTr Assistant Secretary Goddes Hope Libiran said the TWG for motorcycle taxis would be reconvened.

Libiran said the TWG would release an update for the return of motorcycle taxis by “early next week”.

“We will be ready to implement the IATF-EID decision anytime we receive the minimum health standards/guidelines from the National Task Force for Covid-19,” Libiran said.

While the TWG already has an existing guideline for the operation of motorcycle taxis, she said health experts and officials from NTF-Covid will be asked to provide “expert recommendations” as to the minimum health standards aboard MC taxis.

She said the TWG’s function would be the same as during the pilot program for MC taxis—to monitor and regulate its operations.

“Its primordial task is to ensure the safety of the riding passengers, which will also be the basis of the continuing recommendation to Congress for drafting the appropriate legislation,” Libiran said.

Earlier, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque announced that the government has officially given the green light for the resumption of the pilot study on motorcycle taxis.

He noted that official guidelines governing the operations of MC taxis amid the pandemic must first be published by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board and other members of the TWG. (PNA)

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