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Transport group pushes for ‘motorcycle taxi’

MULTI-SECTORAL advocacy group Transport Watch has called on regulators to classify “motorcycles taxis” as a Transport Network Vehicle Service (TNVS), a move considered overdue by both transport groups and legislators.

Transport Watch Convenor George I. Royeca, in a press conference, said the group began an online petition first to ask “what happened to the mandate of the congress” before holding a unity ride on Thursday in Quezon City.

“We are here [petitioning] to give jobs to millions of Filipinos. Right now they are regarded by our laws as illegal. That is not right,” he said, referring to motorcycle drivers providing public transport service, mainly in rural areas and localities surrounding urban zones.

“[Around] 14 million riders depend on motorcycles for livelihood. Right now, we are getting a lot of support. Hopefully, we can give dignity, respects to our motorcycle riders who only want to have a source of livelihood.”

The group said that the Department of Transportation (DoTr) failed to follow the order of the House Committee on Metro Manila Development to review and amend the department order on TNVS.

Committee on Metro Manila Development Chairman Winston T. Castelo said a public hearing will be held next week to ask updates from the DoTr and its attached agency, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board.

“For the last six years, we are looking for a solution for gov’t regulations to at least contain the traffic situation here in Metro Manila. The state of the transport system is dying. People are suffering. People are losing business opportunities,” Mr. Castelo said.

David C. Medrana, head of operations of motorcycle-hailing firm Angkas, told BusinessWorld that after their suspension, the company has only been working as a delivery service.

He added that they are hoping to fast-track the amendment to resume Angkas’ function as a TNVS. — Anna Gabriela A. Mogato

HRVCB, Palace discuss options for release of HR victims’ compensation


PRESIDENTIAL Spokeperson Harry Roque speaks during a press briefing at the Malacanan Palace on Monday, December 11, 2017. — PHILIPPINE STAR/KRIZ JOHN ROSALES

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON Harry L. Roque, Jr., also the Presidential Adviser on Human Rights, met on Thursday with the Human Rights Victims’ Claims Board (HRVCB) to discuss “ways on how to release” the compensation for some human rights abuse victims during the martial law era under Ferdinand E. Marcos.

In a press briefing at the Palace on Thursday, Mr. Roque said he was going to meet later that day with HRVCB Chairperson Lina C. Sarmiento

“We are discussing certain matters concerning payments, or payments which need to be attended to by the Executive either because the claimants have died or the checks will become stale and there will be no one authorized to reissue the checks because the last day for the validity of the checks I believe will be tomorrow (Aug. 10). So, that concern will be addressed Friday, August 10. It will be made known to Executive Secretary (Salvador C.) Medialdea,” Mr. Roque said.

“In my capacity as Presidential Adviser, of course, I will endorse whatever it is that General Lina Sarmiento and the Board would want Malacañang to do,” he added.

Mr. Roque said last Monday that an Executive Order may be needed to extend the operations of the HRVCB for the processing of the claims of martial law human rights victims who have not yet received their monetary compensation. — Arjay L. Balinbin