Several senators expressed dismay over the recommendation of the technical working group (TWG) under the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to prematurely end the pilot program for motorcycle taxis saying the move is arbitrary, unjust, and without basis.
In a media interview, Senator Grace Poe said the decision of the Inter-Agency TWG on Motorcycle Taxis is wrong because of the “lack of proper consultation.”
Poe, chair of the Senate Committee on Public Services, said the decision appears to be aimed at getting back at some motorcycle ride-hailing firms who are continuously questioning and challenging the TWG.
“Ang nangyayari dito, naiinis sila (TWG) kasi nagra-rally ang ibang kompanya, nagpa-file ng kaso laban sa kanila, kaya ginagawa nila ito. So parang arbitrary, hindi base sa rason, kundi base lang sa gusto nilang gawin (They are annoyed because some companies are staging rallies and filing cases against them, that’s why they are doing this. It seemed arbitrary, it is not based on reason but only based on what they wanted to do),” Poe told reporters after the Senate hearing.
“Sobrang nakaka-dismaya na ganyan magpatakbo ang mga ibang miyembro ng gobyerno… kaya dapat nga kinukwestiyon kung ano ba talaga ang kanilang competence para mamuno ng programa na yan (It’s very dismaying that some members of government work this way… their competence to head that program should be questioned),” she added.
Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) board member Antonio Gardiola Jr. earlier announced that the TWG is recommending the termination of the pilot run on motorcycle taxis due to legal actions taken by one of the motorcycle-hailing firms involved in the study.
Poe said her panel would not stop on asking members of the TWG to attend the Senate hearings on the legalization of motorcycle taxis until they reconsider their position and continue the pilot program until its intended deadline on March 23.
She said the law that the Senate intends to pass on motorcycle taxis should be based on the result of careful studies, which the TWG is supposed to conduct.
“Hindi nila pwedeng i-pressure ang Senado at Kongreso na dapat magkaroon na ng batas dahil ang Congress ay hindi dapat maglabas ng batas kung wala kaming sapat na datos. Kaya pinag-aaralan nating mabuti para ang batas na ilalabas natin ay makatarungan at epektibo (They cannot pressure the Senate and the House that a law should be passed, because Congress could not pass a law if we have no complete data. That’s why we need careful study so that the law that we pass would be just and effective),” Poe said.
Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto and Senator Sherwin Gatchalian echoed Poe’s sentiments.
Recto observed that the TWG recommendation to suddenly end the pilot testing seemed “filled with anger.”
“Pag binasa ko ‘yung dokumento parang napakatindi ng galit ninyo (On reading the document, it seems that you are very angry),” he said during Senate hearing.
He also said imposing a 10,000 bikers limit for each motorcycle-hailing firm participating in the pilot study has no enough public consultation, as proven by the temporary restraining order (TRO) granted by the courts halting its implementation.
“Maliwanag sa dokumentong ito, puro galit din. Dahil nag-rally laban sa inyo, galit na kaagad kayo. Kulang kayo sa public consultation, ‘yan ang problema ninyo (It is clear in this document, it is full of anger. Because they staged a rally against you, you immediately got angry. You lacked public consultation, that is your problem),” Recto said.
Gatchalian agreed with Recto, saying he could not see the basis to terminate the pilot testing on motorcycle taxis.
“Wala ho kasing basehan ‘tong lahat, at narinig niyo naman po ‘yung sinabi ng ating mga senador, at lahat ho kami sumasangayon na hindi ho tama itong resolusyon na ginawa ninyo dahil kawawa at nagdudusa ho ang ating mga pasahero (These are all baseless, and you heard what our senators said, all of us agree that your resolution is not right because our riding public are suffering),” Gatchalian said. (PNA)