Motorcyle taxi passengers required to bring own helmets once operations resume

MANILA, Nov 9 (Mabuhay) — While the government has yet to give a specific time frame as to when motorcycle taxis will be allowed to resume operations, new guidelines have been released to ensure health and safety amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

National Action Plan Against COVID-19 Deputy Chief Implementor Secretary Vivencio “Vince” Dizon on Monday said the National Task Force Against COVID-19 last week approved new guidelines for motorcycle taxis such as mandating passengers to bring their own helmet with a visor, on top of the minimum health standards of wearing a face mask.

Motorcycle taxi operators — Angkas, JoyRide, and Move It — will also be required to transition to fully cashless transactions moving forward, in line with efforts to minimize human contact.

Aside from such measures, the government already mandated motorcycle taxis to install barriers with specifications approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).

“Assuming na lahat ay compliant, ang sabi ng operational guidelines ay immediate ang effectivity ng guidelines natin but we will leave it up to the enforcement agencies like LTO and DOTr as to the timing and to the ensuring the compliance of all providers,” Dizon said in a virtual briefing.

The Land Transportation Office (LTO), however, said that the agency will first have to discuss the guidelines with providers and ensure compliance with the guidelines before they are allowed to resume operations.

With the meeting penciled in this week, the LTO said motorcycle taxis are expected to resume operations soon covering Metro Manila, as well as Cebu and Cagayan de Oro.

“Para matiyak natin na nagkakaintindihan tayo doon sa pamantayan sa standard, when they say they are already compliant with this, i-se-set na kaagad natin ‘yung start,” said LTO chief assistant secrtary Edgar Galvante said in the same briefing.

For its part, DBDOYC Inc., more popularly known as Angkas, said it will submit a report on Monday, November 9, to ensure the LTO that it is fully prepared to comply with the guidelines.

“There are several COVID-related regulations that we need to assist the government and make sure that the people or the public are made aware, pero we expect some issues. Papangunahan na po natin ‘yun,” Angkas chief transport advocate George Royeca said.

The resumption of motorcycle taxi operations will be an extension of the initial pilot run to aid legislation on possibly fully legalizing the service. However, this was not completed due to the implementation of quarantines designed to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Transportation Assistant Secretary Mark Steven Pastor said the extension will likely last three to six months, similar to the initial pilot run that started in 2019.  (MNS)

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