Senate set to tackle bills on motor taxi regulation

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 7)— A Senate panel is set for next week to tackle the bills seeking to regulate the operation of motorcycles as public utility vehicles.

Senator Grace Poe said the committee on public services will hold a public hearing on January 14 as legislators continue to study the legality of motorcycles-for-hire.

“We hope this hearing will help find solutions to issues on safety, legality and other questions that need to be threshed out towards an efficient transport system as a whole,” Committee chair Poe said in a statement Tuesday.

The hearing will highlight four bills on motorcycle taxis— including the proposed Senate Bill 128, which lets motorcycle taxi operators use online or pre-arranged platforms for their ride-hailing and transport services.

The panel will likewise tackle the ongoing pilot program for the motorcycle taxis—a move seen to aid lawmakers in crafting the final version of the bill.

The six-month pilot run, originally set to end in December, has been extended until March as operators aim to “gather more data” on the matter.

RELATED: Two new motorcycle taxi services to rival Angkas

An official of the government’s technical working group, however, said authorities hope to wrap their study and submit their recommendations to Congress ahead of schedule.

If passed, the measure will amend Republic Act No. 4136 or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code. Under the present law, only four-wheeled vehicles could register with the Land Transportation Office to transport passengers and goods.