Sandro Gonzalez

Swift passage of motorcycle taxi bill pressed

January 31, 2022 Jester P. Manalastas 441 views

A party-list solon urged Congress to fast track the approval of the proposed Motorcycle-for-Hire Act or House Bill 10571 which aims to regulate the operation of motorcycle taxis.

Marino Party-list Representative Sandro Gonzalez appealed to his colleagues to pass the bill before Congress adjourns on February 5.

“We still have several session days, or until February 4, before the adjournment. I appeal to my colleagues in the House of Representatives to approve on third and final reading House Bill No. 10571 before the adjournment,” Gonzalez said.

HBN 10571, under Committee Report No. 1364, is a consolidation of 19 bills filed separately by lawmakers with a similar objective of regulating the use of motorcycles as public utility vehicles.

Once passed into law, it will benefit not motorcycles-for-hire in urban areas, but also the habal-habal motorcycles, which provide efficient and readily available alternative means of transportation to commuters and give regular income to their drivers and operators.

The habal-habal is a very popular passenger motorcycle in rural areas and in the provinces.

“We can pass it before February 5. It’s a way of thanking the motorcycles-for-hire drivers for continuously serving the people since the start of the pandemic. It’s important to regulate their operations for their and their clients’ protection,” Gonzalez said.

The regulations under HBN 10571 include, among others, the registration of motorcycles-for-hire with the Land Transportation Office (LTO), which shall ensure their roadworthiness.

Under the bill, the LTO shall promulgate the necessary guidelines, setting forth the requirements for the issuance of a professional driver’s license, including the content of theoretical and practical examinations appropriate for the operation of a motorcycle-for-hire.

Only riders who were issued with professional driver’s licenses shall be allowed to operate motorcycles-for-hire.

The bill states that the LTO shall conduct a continuing safety training program for licensed drivers for motorcycles-for-hire with a curriculum duly certified by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, provided that the licensed riders shall attend at least one safety training seminar every year.