Press Release
January 20, 2020

Statement of Senator Joel Villanueva on the decision of the Technical Working Group to cancel its study on motorcycle taxis

The abrupt decision of the Technical Working Group (TWG) to cancel the study on motorcycle taxis as a viable public transportation is illogical. The TWG's findings would have provided both houses of Congress a clearer perspective on the issue at hand, as its primary mandate should be.

In outlawing motorcycle taxis with its decision to cancel the study, the TWG placed a portion of the riding public dependent on motorcycle taxis at risk because they will patronize an illegitimate form of transportation. From what we have gathered, our workers are reliant on motorcycle taxis to get to their jobs on time given the worsening traffic conditions here in Metro Manila.

For service providers that motorcycle taxi firms tap, the cancellation of the study means adding an estimated 27,000 riders back to the unemployment column. We should create more jobs, not take away means of getting an honest day's pay.

The fact remains that the public needs an alternative mode of transportation, more choices for mobility; and with traffic congestion choking our streets, motorcycle taxis are one of the most viable solutions. To reduce the demand for ride hailing transportation services, we need to provide the public with better, cheaper, more efficient alternative. We need to fix the public transportation system. Otherwise, prohibiting the motorcycle taxi service without providing an alternative is simply ridiculous.

While we are supportive of a free market and we welcome the entry of more players, these new players should also keep in mind the convenience of the public- the riders and passengers. The new players should be able to provide an app that is easy to use and efficient, and more importantly, accredited drivers that are properly trained in road safety precautions.

Our transport agencies should definitely abide with Article XIII, Section 3, Paragraph 1 of the 1987 Constitution which mandates the State to promote full employment and equality of employment opportunities for all. The current policy of the TWG to limit the number of riders to 30,000 and to limit them to one ride hailing app per rider is a burden to achieving productivity and employability of our citizens who wish to use their motorcycles for a living. These agencies should definitely reconsider their arbitrary and capricious policies for the benefit of our citizens.

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