A COMMUTER safety and protection advocate has virtually described as “useless” the Motorcycle Taxi Technical Working Group (MC-TWG) led by the Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) because it failed to address complaints and concerns on motorcyles-for-hire.
Atty. Ariel Inton, representative of Lawyers for Commuter Safety and Protection, questioned before the House committee on transportation the legality of the TWG, which oversees the operation of the two-wheeled taxis under a pilot study put in place in 2019, during the resumption of a public hearing on August 8 aimed at determining the status of the program that has dragged on for four years.
“We don’t know what kind of animal [the] TWG [is] … it has no legal personality,” Inton told the committee hearing led by panel chair Antipolo Rep. Romeo Acop. “At kapag may complaint doon, they could not decide. And if they decide, can they implement?”
“In other words … that’s the problem now because the TWG that was created, it was so limited as to the scope. Kaya po if we could recommend to Congress, the bigger House na tingnan po natin ‘yong creation ng TWG,” Into added.
A visibly infuriated Acop, however, corrected Into referred him to the text of House Resolution 2449, which states that “while legislation on the matter is pending in Congress, the DOTr (Department of Transportation) is in the position to address this gap by setting up a pilot program monitoring the operations of motorcycle taxis and overseeing the conduct of the entire transaction from booking the trip to passenger’s arrival destination.”
Per the resolution, said Acop, the DOTR is mandated to “design the pilot program and select pilot areas for implementation nationwide” as well as “determine the most appropriate and reasonable rules and regulations on this mode of transportation to ensure utmost protection and safety of the riding public.”
“So nasa kanila ‘yon … they have the legal personality as stated here,” emphasized Acop.
In the same public hearing, Acop directed LTFRB Chairperson Teofilo Guadiz III to submit the findings of the pilot study that the MC-TWG was supposed to finish in 2021, so that Congress can act on pending legislation intended to finally legalize and regulate the growing motorcycle taxi industry.
Acop pointed out that the MC-TWG should already have “all the data and information needed pursuant on House Resolution 2449.”
“Make a report to the House that your study was already terminated and you are coming to a recommendation,” stressed Acop.
Guadiz replied that the MC-TWG will submit its report to the House panel “within 30 days.”