Bill filed seeking to classify motorcycles-for-hire as PUVs

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    A MEASURE seeking to classify motorcycle-for-hire units as public utility vehicles (PUVs) has been filed at the House of Representatives now that a second app-based motorcycle-hailing platform, JoyRide, is awaiting the decision of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) on its request to join the six-month trial run of Angkas as a provider of public transport.

    “The proposal would start the framework for quality assurance among motorcycles for hire, give commuters an alternative for a mode of transportation and ensure a safe road for everyone,” Deputy Speaker Luis Raymond “LRay” Villafuerte said in filing House Bill No. 4652.

    Media reports claimed Angkas already has 27,000 riders while JoyRide has put up a facility in Antipolo City where it will train some 6,000 riders who have signed up for its proposed transport service.

    Under HB 4652, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) will have to require motorcycle service providers to obtain insurance coverage for their drivers and their passengers as well as insurance to cover third-party liabilities.

    The DOTr, in turn, is mandated to prescribe the routes and require the establishment of terminals for these motorcycles, according to Villafuerte.

    “Number one priority in transporting people is the safety and welfare of the passengers and the driver. In welcoming a new age of public transportation, this bill seeks to set the groundwork to make motorcycles safe and secure for the riding public and the operators,” said Villafuerte.

    HB 4652 aims to amend Section 3 and 7 of Republic Act (RA) No. 4136 to include motorcycle-for-hire in the definition of terms and in the classification of vehicles that would be required for registration with the LTFRB.

    It also aims to recognize motorcycles for hire, or Habal-habal or motorcycle taxis, as a legitimate mode of public transportation in the country, Villafuerte said.

    Motorcycles-for-hire currently operate in Metro Manila, Cebu and the cities of General Santos and Cagayan de Oro.

    Under HB 4652, for-hire motorcycles are declared as common carriers “for purposes of determining the liability and degree of diligence that must be observed in the course of transporting passengers or goods, and the presumption of negligence in breach of contract shall likewise apply to them.”

    The LTFRB and the Land Transportation Authority (LTO) are tasked to ensure the road worthiness of motorcycles-for-hire before registration or renewal of registration.

    “To further ensure safety, no modifications shall be made on motorcycles-for-hire, except the installation, based on safe engineering design specifications, of motorcycle luggage carrier, saddlebag, stepboard or foot peg and appropriate speed limiter and monitoring device,” the bill said.

    HB 4652 also tasks the LTFRB to “prescribe, approve and periodically review and adjust” reasonable fares, rates, and other related charges for the operation of motorcycles for hire.

    “The LTFRB may allow motorcycles-for-hire to choose and use online ride-hailing platforms or pre-arranged transportation platforms, accredited by the proper government agency under the applicable laws and rules and regulations: Provided, that such online ride-hailing platforms or pre-arranged transportation platforms shall provide a fare estimator that enables users to estimate the cost of a trip, and issue an electronic receipt afterwards,” it said.