Recto looks to revving up motorbikes as public utility vehicles

Ralph Recto
Ralph Recto

SENATOR Ralph Recto has filed a bill that would resolve the dilemma on using motorcycle as a public utility vehicle amid the worsening traffic situation in major cities of the country.

Recto’s Senate Bill 2173 defines which types of motorcycles may qualify as public utility vehicles, which if approved would lift the ban on two-wheel vehicles from ferrying paying passengers.

The bill classifies public utility motorcycles as those with engines of at least 125 cc and can travel faster than 50 kilometers per hour.

The proposed measure is a new section in Republic Act 4136, or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code.

Recto said that the Supreme Court, the Department of Transportation (DOTr), and even motorcycle clubs have all agreed that RA 4136 must first be amended before motorcycle ride-sharing services can be legally accredited.

“It is in response to the call for legislative action that I have filed the bill. Without this amendment, there is no way that authority to operate motorcycles as PUVs or TNVS (transport network vehicle service) such as Angkas can be granted administratively,” he said.

Because the bill is now in the Senate, the issue can be thoroughly debated by all the concerned parties in a proper venue, Recto said.

Recto said almost 6 in 10 motor vehicles in the country today are motorcycles and tricycles. From 3.48 million registered units in 2010, their number, based on first half 2018 data, was projected to hit 7.5 million by end of December 2018.

“A combination of public frustration over road traffic, lack of public transportation, affordable motorcycles, and rising household income has led to the motorcycle boom”, Recto said.

Part of the bill requires insurance for passengers, implementing speed limits, and unique and stricter regulations for motorcycle drivers that requires a different driving skill set.

Also, the operation of public utility motorcycles, including safety features, shall be governed by rules promulgated by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and the DOTr.