‘Dagdag-bawas’ happened in extended pilot test for motorcycle taxis — Sen Imee Marcos

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Sen. Imee Marcos

MANILA, Philippines — Equal participation does not necessarily mean fair competition in the government’s extended pilot test for motorcycle taxis, Senator Imee Marcos said.

“There was a dagdag-bawas that happened.  A company reduced the number of experienced drivers, hoping they will be forced to join the new inexperienced driver. So why?”  Marcos said.

The Department of Transportation – Technical Working Group (DOTR-TWG) allotted an equal number of drivers to ride-hailing companies Angkas, JoyRide and MoveIt for the three-month extended test run that started this month, each to have 10,000 in Metro Manila and 3,000 in Metro Cebu.

A temporary restraining order has put on hold the DOTR-TWG’s rule, but the court order expires at the end of the month and may leave 17,000 of 27,000 Angkas drivers out of work.

On the other hand, Joyride and MoveIt seek to add to the 6,900 and 2,400 drivers they already have, respectively, as of January 6.

Marcos said the DOTR failed in its statement about giving the drivers the freedom of choice on what company to join.

“Focussing on drivers is not a freedom of choice because they will lost their job in their company so they will apply with the other company,” she said.

Furthermore, she said no proper consultation or debate was held on the numbers rule because the DOTR-TWG shut out lawmakers from meetings held in November to December, even if the pilot test’s final goal is to aid legislation.

“Hindi na kailangang magpalusot ang DOTR na ang patas na bilang ay para sa fair competition at freedom of choice, dahil Kongreso naman ang gagawa ng batas para siguruhin ang mga ito. Ang dapat siguruhin ng DOTR ay mabawasan ang perwisyo sa traffic, kaya mas mabuting isali na ang lahat ng mga drayber na may karanasan na sa trabaho,” Marcos said.

Marcos filed Senate Bill 409 at the start of the first pilot test in mid-2019, seeking to legalize and regulate motorcycles for hire as a safe, alternative means of transport for commuters caught in heavy traffic.

Unlike three other similar bills in the Senate, the Marcos bill provides local government units a means of generating revenue through their supervision of companies running motorcycle taxis. (Stacy  Ang/IAMIGO/Currentph.com)

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