Senators think TWG’s move to axe motorcycle taxi pilot run an act of ‘revenge’
MANILA, Philippines — Some Senators have questioned the recommendation of the technical working group (TWG) under the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to terminate the pilot program for motorcycle taxis and expressed their belief that such a move appears to be just an act of revenge.
“Punong-puno ng galit, at punong-puno ng paghihiganti,” Senator Grace Poe, who led Monday’s hearing of the public services committee on bills seeking to regulate motorcycle taxis, told reporters.
(Full of anger, and brimming with revenge).
She was referring to TWG’s recommendation to immediately cancel the pilot run, which was supposed to conclude in March.
“Alam mo dapat nga kinukwestyon ano ba talaga ‘yung kanilang competence para mamuno niyang programa na ‘yan,” she added.
(You know, what should be questioned is their competence to lead that program.)
Poe also surmised the TWG’s motion seeking to terminate the study was a “provocation.”
“I don’t know who they’re trying to provoke. Naghahanap ba sila ng away? Alam naman nila na may diskusyon ngayon. Bakit hindi nila inintay na marinig muna nila…ang mga argumento ng lahat ng panig bago sila nagdesisyon ng ganyan?” she said.
(I don’t know who they’re trying to provoke. Are they looking for a fight? They know that there’s a discussion going on. Why did they not wait to listen to the arguments of all parties before they came with this decision?)
“Para tuloy naiisip ko na tama ‘yung sinasabi din ng iba na parang paghihiganti ito at dahil pikon sila ‘yun lang,” she added.
(It’s making me think that what the others were saying was correct that this seems just an act of revenge and because they got pissed.)
During the hearing, Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto aired a similar opinion.
“Ngayon may hearing tayo, may dokumento ngayon kayo ngayon na nagsasabi itigil na namin ito (pilot study), at ‘pag binasa ko ‘yung dokumento parang napakatindi ng galit ninyo,” Recto said.
(Now we have this hearing, you have this document now saying the pilot study must be stopped, and when I read this document it seems you are furious.)
The document Recto was referring to was the recommendation submitted by the TWG to Congress seeking to cancel the implementation of the pilot program.
Prior to the hearing, TWG head and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) board member Antonio Gardiola Jr. has disclosed submitting to Congress their recommendation to cancel the pilot study on motorcycle taxis due to legal impediments.
At the same time, Recto slammed what he called TWG’s “arbitrariness” on imposing a 10,000 bikers limit for each motorcycle-hailing firm participating in the pilot study.
The Mandaluyong City Regional Trial Court, however, earlier issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) that halted for 72 hours the implementation of the government’s ceiling on the number of motorcycle taxis allowed to participate in the ongoing pilot program.
“Lumalabas din na kulang ang public consultation din ninyo kaya kayo nat-TRO ng korte, ‘yun ang dahilan. Tapos dahil na-TRO kayo, galit naman ang pinapakita ninyo,” Recto said.
(It shows that you lack public consultations that’s why the court issues TRO against you, that’s the reason. And then because of the TRO, you show anger.)
“Maliwanag sa dokumentong ito eh, puro galit din e. Dahil nag-rally laban sa inyo, galit na kaagad kayo. Kulang kayo sa public consultation eh, ‘yan ang problema ninyo,” he added.
(It is clear in this document, too much anger. Because they had a rally against you, you’re now angry. You lacked public consultation, that is your problem.)
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian echoed Recto’s sentiment.
“Tama ho ang sinabi ni Senator Recto. Paghihiganti ho tong ginawa niyo e. Paghihigante ho to,” he said.
(What Senator Recto said is right. What you’re doing is revenge. This is revenge.)
Gatchalian said he could not see the basis of TWG’s recommendation to terminate the pilot testing on motorcycle taxis.
“Wala ho kasing basehan ‘tong lahat eh at narinig niyo naman po ‘yung sinabi ng ating mga senador at lahat ho kami sumasangayon na hindi ho tama itong resolusyon na ginawa ho ninyo dahil kawawa at nagdudusa ho ang ating mga pasahero,” the senator said.
(All of these have no basis and you heard what our senators said and all of us agree that this resolution is not right because our riding public are already suffering.)
TWG said in its recommendation that they could not undertake or execute several activities due to legal actions taken by ride-hailing firm Angkas.
Deployment of mystery passengers, visitation, and inspection of facilities of participating firms as well as the conduct of field study are among the activities TWG said they were unable to do because of prevailing legal deterrents.
But Gatchalian said he was not convinced the legal actions taken by Angkas should hinder the implementation of the mentioned TWG activities.
“Yung TRO ay dahil ho sa cap, walang TRO sa mystery passenger, visitation and conduct of field study ba’t hindi niyo ho nagawa?” the senator said.
(The TRO was about the cap, there’s no TRO on mystery passenger, visitation, and conduct of field study why didn’t you do it?)
In June last year, a six-month pilot run was approved to help Congress further evaluate pending bills seeking to legalize the use of motorcycles as public utility vehicles.
The pilot run was originally set to end on December 26, 2019, but was extended until March 23, 2020.
Edited by KGA
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