Commuter groups on Monday urged Senate and Congress to summon motorcycle taxi operators and the members of the technical working group of the Department of Transportation for a committee hearing about the extension of the test run for motor taxis.
Lawyers for Commuter Safety Protection, Komyut, Transport Watch and Move Metro Manila questioned the TWG’s major decisions allowing the expansion of the pilot program to other motor taxi applications without “genuine consultations.”
“These are decisions that should not be kept from the public,” the commuter groups said.
“The public hearing will be a positive step towards legislatively addressing the issue of motorcyle taxis, address questions of transparency in the processes and will provide information to the public of the planned expansion of the pilot currently being run by DOTr,” they added.
The commuter groups added the repeated exclusion of consumers, advocacy groups and other stakeholders from the TWG meetings shows a lack of transparency and an active effort to deny inclusion of civil society and to fully represent the public interest.
The test run for Angkas was supposed to end this month.
The LCSP earlier filed a petition for injunction with application for a temporary restraining order and/or writ of preliminary injunction against five motorcycle taxi companies including We Move Things Philippines Inc. (Joyride), Habal Rides Corp., I-Sabay, Sampa-Dala Corp. and Trans-Serve Corp.
“Our objective in the LCSP is to ensure the safety and protection of the riding public,” Ariel Inton, a former Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board member, said.
“And we are worried that the new motorcycle players who will join the test run may just endanger the lives of commuters because they do not have the same stringent safety standards as what the riding public has been accustomed to in the initial test run,” he said.
“We in the LCSP call on the DOTr to ensure that the welfare of the riding public is given priority by ensuring that the new players the agency is considering to include in the announced test run extension undergo a thorough review and assessment much like what the TWG did back then for Angkas,” Inton said.