Transportation authorities in Region 7 (Central Visayas) will not yet apprehend motor taxis following the decision of the inter-agency Technical Working Group (TWG) to extend the pilot run until March this year.
Eduardo Montealto Jr., regional director of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB-7), said while the pilot run of “two-wheel vehicles” has been extended, his office will also seek for clear-cut directives on the board’s tasks against motor taxis, in case the TWG decides to end the dry-run.
“We will seek for the directives how to monitor motor taxi operations. So far, there is no policy yet as to our clear participation on the pilot run,” Montealto said in a phone interview.
He said the LTFRB emerged as agency of concern after the Supreme Court identified it in a ruling as in charge of enforcement against motorcycles for hire.
The TWG formed by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to monitor the pilot run of motor taxis is also chaired by LTFRB member Antonio Gardiola Jr.
Montealto said registration and regulations covering two-wheel vehicles such as motorcycles are under the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and the local government units (LGUs).
“Under Republic Act 4136 which is the Land Transportation and Traffic Code, motor taxis are not yet considered public utility vehicles. But because of the trend now wherein our lawmakers are studying the possibility to allow motorcycles to ferry passengers, that might perhaps change the law by repealing specific provisions about it and amending the existing policy that only four-wheel vehicles are considered common carrier,” he said.
He added that the LTFRB is only allowed to give out franchises to four-wheel vehicles.
In a report on Monday, the TWG reconsidered the plan to terminate the motorcycle taxis’ pilot run, following sentiments raised by senators during a Senate hearing.
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade pushed for the setting of rider caps and location guidelines by all players of motor taxis as condition for the extension of the pilot run.
Montealto said he will raise the concern on lack of clear-cut directive for LTFRB regional offices’ participation in the pilot run in a scheduled conference on January 30. (PNA)