Angkas okay needs law amendment, Department of Transportation insists

February 02, 2019

THE Department of Transportation (DoTr) has insisted that an amendment of the law is required to allow motorcycles to operate as public utility vehicles.

The issue at hand cannot be likened to that of Transport Network Vehicle Service (TNVS), as cited by some senators and congressmen, the DoTr pointed out.

A Department Order (DO) should always be based on existing laws, it stressed.

According to Republic Act 4136 (Land Transportation and Traffic Code), passenger automobiles may be classified as either private or public (“for hire”), depending on its purpose. Thus, although TNVS units were initially classified as private vehicles, their transition to public transport only required a conversion to another classification.

On the other hand, RA 4136 clearly does not allow motorcycles to be classified as “for hire” or for public utility.

For this reason the DoTr said it has maintained that the best recourse for conversion of motorcycle taxis to public transport is amendment of the law. In fact, this lack of an enabling law is best reiterated by the various proposed bills in the House and the Senate seeking to allow motorcycle taxis to operate as a public transport mode.

It noted further that issuing a DO allowing motorcycle taxis to operate as public transport would go against the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) issued by the Supreme Court, thereby exposing DOTr officials to criminal liability or contempt of court.

The DoTr reiterated that it does not intend to antagonize Angkas and in fact welcomed motorcycle groups in TWG discussions to thresh out the requirements and other contingent issues.

These issues are ultimately directed at regulation for passenger safety and nothing else.    

In the meantime, the DoTr appealed “for utmost patience and understanding” and gave assurances of its commitment to President Duterte’s marching orders to make the Filipino’s life comfortable.

The DoTr urged public understanding as its Technical Working Group (TWG) threshes out the numerous concerns involved in the proposal, foremost of which is commuter safety.