Imee to government: Enforce strict motorbike rules

INSTEAD of imposing ban on innovative transport-for-hire schemes, Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos told the government to enforce stricter operational and driving regulations on motorcycle ride-hailing services like Angkas.

Marcos stressed government must keep an open mind about alternate transport options for the riding public given the perennial traffic and commuting problems experienced by commuters.

“The solution is not to ban them (because) that’s really absurd. We should just allow them to continue operating. What we must do is to put in place very clear guidelines on safety and road worthiness, and on pricing. Policies can also be set on driver conditions, such as imposing a quota on the number of rides per day or on their working or driving hours,” Marcos said.

The governor added complaints involving bad behaviors among transport-hailing service drivers can easily be addressed by the government since all booked ride services are digitally monitored and recorded by transport network vehicle services (TNVS) companies.

“Rude drivers and even abusive customers are reported instantly because it’s a smart system riding application available in just one click in our mobile phones. The names of the drivers and customers, the plate numbers of motorcycles and their booked routes are all recorded and registered. It’s really easy to address these issues (raised against Angkas). We just need to sincerely regulate the industry and enforce laws and guidelines efficiently,” Marcos stressed.

Marcos said the Philippines should perk up its public transport services, noting how the country is now lagging behind its Asian neighbors in providing viable options to its commuting citizens.

She cited the case of Indonesia and Singapore which have allowed TNVS firms Grab and Go Jek to freely operate in their countries to service transport consumers.

Go Jek and Grab have been investing billions of dollars in the race to corner a bigger share of Southeast Asia, noting that majority of the region’s 640 million consumers go online and use smartphones to commute.

“We are among the few countries who are still trying to muzzle these kinds of services. What’s the matter with us? Let us think of the commuting public and make life less stressful for them by giving them the widest choices for their public rides,” Marcos said.

Marcos also said: “It is imperative for the government to provide transport services to its people. Allowing Angkas and other similar transport services to operate will be beneficial to commuters, and this should weigh heaviest to the government as it continues to explore the most effective public transport system.” MARLON PURIFICACION