Press Release
February 18, 2020

Recto confident that biker-in-chief will back motorcycle taxi bill

Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto is confident that the nation's "biker-in-chief" will sign into law the Motorcycle Taxi Bill, which lifts the 56-year ban on two-wheelers as a PUV.

"The motorbike is the ride of choice of the President," Recto said in his speech sponsoring the bill which will legalize the likes of Angkas.

By safely logging tens of thousands of kilometers in criss-crossing Mindanao and the Visayas, Recto said Duterte "had shown the motorbike as a safe ride."

"So what is good for the president must be good for the ordinary citizen," the senator added, before laying down the stringent conditions on how to make for-hire motorcyles "safe for the driver, for the passenger, and for the other vehicles on the road."

The bill, principally authored by Recto but distills the bills filed by four other senators, imposes minimum engine size, speed and weight for motorcycles that will be licensed to ferry one paying passenger.

Permits must still be secured by the driver and the owner from the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, Recto said.

Recto said the bill is the classic example of "legislation coping with technology" even as he hoped that, such as in the case of airplanes and automobiles, "putting motorcycle taxis under government regulation will make it safer."

He said the prevalence and popularity of motorcycle taxis is something government can no longer ignore.

"Ours is a motorcycle republic. 7 in 10 motor vehicles today run on two wheels. At almost 19 million, there is one motorbike per family. And half of them are used to earn a living," he said.

"They are used to deliver food to the perpetually hungry millennial, deliver packages, and as tricycles that bring people to work, or produce to market," he said.

Like all inventions, "the motorcycle taxi is a product of necessity," Recto said.

"When the time to queue for an MRT ticket is longer than the ride itself, when buses are packed like Spam, hindi na po sardinas, when rides are so hard to come by that one has to wake up at 4 in the morning so he can be at work by 8, and leave at 5 in the afternoon with no guarantee that he can be home by 9, then relief comes in the form of an empty seat behind the motorcycle driver," he said.

The bill repeals a section in RA 4136 which bans the use of motorcycle in ferrying paying passengers.

"If this will not be deleted, then de facto motorcycle riders cannot be flagged off as legal passenger vehicles," Recto said.

He urged senators to pass the bill "because a ride that is good enough for the president must be good for people."

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