5 Senate contenders uphold bikers’ rights
Motorcycle riders might have found champions in five senatorial candidates who, in a rare show of solidarity, vowed to uphold bikers’ rights and support motorcycle taxis as a viable transport alternative for Metro Manila commuters if elected.
The candidates—reelectionists Grace Poe, Bam Aquino and JV Ejercito, and rookie senatorial contenders Chel Diokno and Bato dela Rosa—have called for the legalization and regulation of bikes as public transport during a recent Safety Fiesta organized by motorcycle taxi-hailing firm Angkas.
“I understand the need to create legislation that recognizes the rights of bikers for their livelihood under the law,” said Diokno, who is running under the Otso Diretso slate.
The human rights lawyer said he would push for the passage of the Magna Carta for Riders and the Unified Motorcycle Act.
Of the five, Poe and Ejercito have been on the forefront of efforts to fast-track the legalization of the “habal-habal” as an alternate mode of transport, as chair and vice chair, respectively, of the Senate public services committee.
Aquino, Poe and Ejercito also voted to pass the controversial double plates law, which requires bikes to carry highly visible plates both in the front and rear of the bike as a way to deter the rising number of crimes associated with motorcycle-riding assailants.
President Duterte has since suspended the law amid protests by bikers and riders who cited the physical hazards presented by the oversized license plates.
Jobert Bolanos, head of the Motorcycle Rights Organization, said that while they were “grateful” for the candidates’ promises, “results have yet to be seen after the elections.”
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