Legalization of ?Angkas? seen as House approves motorcycles-for-hire bill

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The House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading a bill which seeks to allow and regulate the use of motorcycles as public utility vehicle.

It can be recalled that the government has stopped the operation of the motorcycle-hailing app ?Angkas? as motorcycles are not allowed to be use for public transportation under existing laws.

House Bill No. 8959, also known as the proposed ?Motorcycles-for-Hire Act?, seeks to amend for the purpose Republic Act (RA) No. 4136 or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code.

The measure, principally authored by South Cotabato representative Pedro Acharon Jr. aims to provide convenience and ease of commute in urban and rural areas by allowing and regulating the use of motorcycles as an alternative mode of public transportation.

One of the amendments to the Land Transportation and Traffic Code is the insertion of the term ?motorcycles-for-hire?.

The term is referred under the bill as ?any two-wheeled motor vehicle that may be registered with the Land Transportation Office as for hire and may be used as a commercial vehicle to transport passengers and goods.

The bill likewise proposed that motorcycles for transporting passengers shall have a minimum engine displacement of 125 cubic centimeters and a backbone type build.

Furthermore, it amends the same law by including the ?motorcycles-for-hire? in the classification of vehicles.

Application for registration under the said classifications shall be accompanied by a certificate of public convenience or a special permit issued by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and these motor vehicles shall be subject to the Public Service Laws, rules and regulations including the provisions of the Act.

The measure mandates the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to ensure the roadworthiness of motorcycles-for-hire before registration or renewal of registration.

Likewise, the LTO shall promulgate the necessary prerequisites and guidelines for the issuance of licenses to the driver-applicants pursuant to the provisions of the Land Transportation and Traffic Code, as amended by RA 10930.

The LTFRB shall determine, prescribe, approve and periodically review and adjust, reasonable fares, rates and other related charges for the operation of motorcycles-for-hire.

Motorcycles-for-hire may be allowed to operate for a limited period, with limited number of units and in specific routes only, as may be determined by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the LTFRB, in coordination with concerned local government units (LGUs).

Companies or their officers or directors who provide online ride-hailing or pre-arranged transportation platforms involving motorcycles without a valid franchise shall have solidary liability and shall be penalized accordingly.

The bill mandates the DOTr, LTO and LTFRB, in collaboration with the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group, Department of Health (DoH), and other agencies and stakeholders to promulgate the necessary implementing rules and regulations (IRR) within 60 days from the effectivity of the law.

The IRR shall include, among others, limitation of the number of riders and the weight or load capacity that can be carried as certified safe by manufacturers; the applicable speed limits; the road safety and traffic laws and regulations that need to be complied with; the necessary insurance policy covering the driver, rider and third party; the designation of terminals; and other requirements for the safety, security and health of the driver and rider.

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