MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) Technical Working Group (TWG) has denied any political influence in selecting two new players Move It and JoyRide to join in the market.
Transportation Assistant Secretary Alberto Suansing, a member of the TWG, said the two firms went through a rigorous process and eventually qualified for the test run.
“For Angkas to accuse na mayroong political (influence) iyong dalawa, (dapat) sila tingnan rin. Saan ang palakasan doon? Wala naman (For Angkas to accuse any political influence in the (application) of the two (firms) they should also be checked. Where is politics there? There’s none),” Suansing argued.
“We’ve gone over the papers of both applicants, wala naman kaming nakitang politically-sounding names doon (we did not see any politically-sounding names in them),” he added.
The pilot test run for motorcycle taxis supposedly to end this December involved ride-hailing service ‘Angkas’ as the sole operator.
However, the TWG which includes DOTr and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) decided to extend the study until March 2020 with Move It and JoyRide joining the test run.
Suansing noted that Angkas seemed to have assumed that the DOTr considered their operation legal when in fact the Land Transportation and Traffic Code does not allow franchise to two-wheeled vehicles and only four-wheeled vehicles are allowed to register and transfer passengers and goods.
“What disfranchising ang pinaguusapan dyan (are they talking about) when they do not have the franchise in the first place?” Suansing said in response to Angkas’ allegations.
“Risk nila iyan pinangakuan nila ang mga riders na pwede silang tumakbo sa kalsada (The risk is up to them for committing to the passengers),” he added.
Based on the TWG data, there are only about 5,000 motorcycle taxi units registered at LTFRB so far.
A total of 2,204 for Angkas; 1,438 for JoyRide; and 1,414 for Move It.
The LTFRB stressed that only registered units may be allowed to join the three-month pilot test run.
Meanwhile, the PCC urges the TWG to review its existing policy on limiting the number of motorcycle taxis.
PCC noted that though Angkas had the largest number of riders does not mean it is monopolizing the market.
The PCC argues that motorcycle hailing companies should not be limited only to 10,000 riders each.
It added that riders should also be given the free will to choose which company they would wish to join.
“Mayroon pa sigurong mga ibang options na pwedeng pag-aralan rin ang TWG katulad ng multi-booming policy (Perhaps the TWG should consider other options like multi-booming policy). Ibig sabihin nito hindi ka lamang naka exclusive at naka-affiliate at nagmamaneho para sa Angkas, pwede ka ring magmaneho para sa (It means you are not operating exclusively for Angkas, but you may also drive for) Joyride, Move it,” explained PCC Commissioner Atty. Johannes Benjamin Bernabe.
“Sa ganun, ang mga drivers ng motorsiklo, makakapili sila kung sino ang pinaka-maraming booking request at pinakamaganda ang incentives na kanilang ibibigay sa mga rider (That way, motorcycle drivers have the option to choose as to which firm has the most booking request and has the most reasonable incentives for the riders),” Bernabe added.
The TWG has no clear policy yet on the matter as the pilot test run for motorcycle taxis is still ongoing. – MNP (with details from Joan Nano)
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