Today, we bring both good news and bad news with regard to the proposed extension of the motorcycle-taxi pilot run.
Here's the good news: Secretary Arthur Tugade of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) expressed his support for the continuation of the scheme. "The DOTr recognizes the role of motorcycle taxis in transporting our commuters to their destinations," he said in a statement. "Malaking tulong ho ito lalo na ngayong limitado pa din ang kapasidad ng pampublikong transportasyon."
On Sunday, October 11, Angkas riders staged a 'thanksgiving' motorcade on EDSA, anticipating the government's go-signal for the resumption of the pilot run for accredited motorcycle-taxi companies. The riders particularly thanked President Rodrigo Duterte, the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, and the House Committee on Transportation for recommending the return of the motorcycle-taxi riders on the streets provided they strictly observe the health protocols laid out by the government.
Based on our interview, many of these riders thought the final approval from Malacañang will be released on Monday, Oct. 12. The bad news: It turns out they might have to wait a little longer because Tugade wants Congress to first issue a resolution allowing the motorcycle-taxi companies to resume operations.
"Kaya nga ho ba, as long as there is a Congress resolution, which will be our legal basis to allow the operation of [motorcycle taxis], we will fully support this," Tugade said. "We will abide by the directive of Congress and the IATF on the health and safety protocols."
The House panel led by Representative Edgar Mary Sarmiento has expressed full support for this endeavor, but based on Tugade's latest statement, the legislators will need to formalize their stand on the issue by coming up with a resolution.
Do you think the Transport secretary's statements make sense?