During the last hearing between the Joint Task Force (JTF) COVID Shield and the House Committee on Transportation, they recommended the resumption of motorcycle taxi operations within Metro Manila. The two groups agreed that not only will its services help ease the woes of the general public due to the lack of public transportation, but it would also help the House Panel’s pilot study in aid of its proper legislation to finally craft a law for it.
Police Lt. Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar already previously allowed pillion riding on motorcycles for all Authorized Persons Outside Residence (APOR) within the private sector. He expressed his desire to also allow motorcycle taxis during the panel discussions.
Since we are allowing it for private use and is being implemented now, it should be no different if we can help our countrymen with no motorcycle but have motorcycle taxis as an option with a barrier as approved by the IATF.
In any case, it should be noted that motorcycle taxi partner riders and passengers will still be required to strictly follow health and safety protocols should they resume operations. The use of approved barrier designs, similar to the ones by Angkas, the passenger’s use of their own helmets with full face visors, and wearing a facemask should still be strictly enforced and observed.
In response, House Transportation panel chair Rep. Edgar Sarmiento has urged JTF and the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to recommend to the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) the resumption of operations of motorcycle taxis. He said that “We’re thankful to the DOTr for their report, but we still need more data to craft the law.”
It should be noted that the motorcycle taxi pilot testing program was intended to run until March 23. However, it was cut short as early as March 17 when the government imposed its enhanced community quarantine all over Luzon as a measure to limit the movement of people and curb the growing number of COVID-19 infections throughout the country.