Advertisementspot_img
Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Delivering Stories of Progress

Advertisementspot_img

FIRING LINE: Legalizing motorcycle taxis and ‘kamotes’

Latest article

Advertisement - PS02barkero developers premium website

THEPHILBIZNEWS Partner Hotels

Hotel Okura Manila
Hotel 101
The Manor at Camp John Hay
Novotel Manila
Taal Vista Hotel
Advertisement - PS02barkero developers premium website

By Robert B. Roque, Jr.

Congress is currently tackling the proposal to legalize motorcycle taxis in the Philippines, as outlined in House Bill 3412.

While the pilot operation of motorcycle taxis like Angkas, for example, has become common and popular, legislation demands critical scrutiny.

Obviously, riding a motorcycle is different from riding a bike. The skills required to balance on two wheels may be the same, but the consequences of an accident are literally a lifetime of difference.

That’s why it is a contentious issue in itself to pass a bill that changes the law as we know it, which prohibits two-wheeled vehicles as a means of public transportation.

We have proponents arguing that it could improve mobility and create employment opportunities, and nobody wants to take that away from anyone.

However, it cannot be overlooked that such a move poses significant safety risks.

That is a point maliciously absent in the context of Speaker Martin Romualdez’s call last weekend for his Chamber to prioritize the bill’s passage.

HB 3412’s author, Cong. Ramon Rodrigo Gutierrez, even hinted last Tuesday that this administration wants it done before President Bongbong Marcos delivers his State of the Nation Address by mid-year.

Isn’t it funny or odd that just a week ago, the President announced that the government is working with Singapore-based Grab Holdings Ltd., which seeks the relaxing of regulations on ride-hailing services so that motorcycle taxis can ply the streets legally?

In a statement, Malacanang confirmed that Grab executives were lobbying for support when they met the President with the aim of increasing its Philippine ridership to 500,000 daily from the current 300,000 a day.

From their perspective, that’s definitely good business. But looking at it from the side of safety and sanity, it is a precarious game where the lives of commuters are at stake.

Perhaps I can borrow some points of argument from the satirical skit presented by comedian Michael V. that has gone viral on TikTok lately.

The skit in gameshow format, with the “Golden Kamote Trophy” at stake, humorously exposes the reckless and entitled mentality prevalent among many, if not the majority of Filipino motorcycle riders, colloquially referred to as “Kamote riders.”

These riders often prioritize their convenience over road safety and traffic regulations, as evidenced by their disregard for pedestrian spaces, dangerous overtaking practices, and confrontational behavior toward other road users.

By satirizing these behaviors, Michael V sheds light on the alarming reality that legalizing motorcycle taxis may only exacerbate existing road safety concerns.

The Department of Transportation’s pilot study may offer statistical reassurances, but it cannot mask the inherent risks posed by integrating motorcycles into public transport. Congress is currently tackling the proposal to legalize motorcycle taxis in the Philippines, as outlined in House Bill 3412.

While the pilot operation of motorcycle taxis like Angkas, for example, has become common and popular, legislation demands critical scrutiny.

Obviously, riding a motorcycle is different from riding a bike. The skills required to balance on two wheels may be the same, but the consequences of an accident are literally a lifetime of difference.

That’s why it is a contentious issue in itself to pass a bill that changes the law as we know it, which prohibits two-wheeled vehicles as a means of public transportation.

We have proponents arguing that it could improve mobility and create employment opportunities, and nobody wants to take that away from anyone.

However, it cannot be overlooked that such a move poses significant safety risks.

That is a point maliciously absent in the context of Speaker Martin Romualdez’s call last weekend for his Chamber to prioritize the bill’s passage.

HB 3412’s author, Cong. Ramon Rodrigo Gutierrez, even hinted last Tuesday that this administration wants it done before President Bongbong Marcos delivers his State of the Nation Address by mid-year.

Isn’t it funny or odd that just a week ago, the President announced that the government is working with Singapore-based Grab Holdings Ltd., which seeks the relaxing of regulations on ride-hailing services so that motorcycle taxis can ply the streets legally?

In a statement, Malacanang confirmed that Grab executives were lobbying for support when they met the President with the aim of increasing its Philippine ridership to 500,000 daily from the current 300,000 a day.

From their perspective, that’s definitely good business. But looking at it from the side of safety and sanity, it is a precarious game where the lives of commuters are at stake.

Perhaps I can borrow some points of argument from the satirical skit presented by comedian Michael V. that has gone viral on TikTok lately.

The skit in gameshow format, with the “Golden Kamote Trophy” at stake, humorously exposes the reckless and entitled mentality prevalent among many, if not the majority of Filipino motorcycle riders, colloquially referred to as “Kamote riders.”

These riders often prioritize their convenience over road safety and traffic regulations, as evidenced by their disregard for pedestrian spaces, dangerous overtaking practices, and confrontational behavior toward other road users.

By satirizing these behaviors, Michael V sheds light on the alarming reality that legalizing motorcycle taxis may only exacerbate existing road safety concerns.

The Department of Transportation’s pilot study may offer statistical reassurances, but it cannot mask the inherent risks posed by integrating motorcycles into public transport. Congress is currently tackling the proposal to legalize motorcycle taxis in the Philippines, as outlined in House Bill 3412.

While the pilot operation of motorcycle taxis like Angkas, for example, has become common and popular, legislation demands critical scrutiny.

Obviously, riding a motorcycle is different from riding a bike. The skills required to balance on two wheels may be the same, but the consequences of an accident are literally a lifetime of difference.

That’s why it is a contentious issue in itself to pass a bill that changes the law as we know it, which prohibits two-wheeled vehicles as a means of public transportation.

We have proponents arguing that it could improve mobility and create employment opportunities, and nobody wants to take that away from anyone.

However, it cannot be overlooked that such a move poses significant safety risks.

That is a point maliciously absent in the context of Speaker Martin Romualdez’s call last weekend for his Chamber to prioritize the bill’s passage.

HB 3412’s author, Cong. Ramon Rodrigo Gutierrez, even hinted last Tuesday that this administration wants it done before President Bongbong Marcos delivers his State of the Nation Address by mid-year.

Isn’t it funny or odd that just a week ago, the President announced that the government is working with Singapore-based Grab Holdings Ltd., which seeks the relaxing of regulations on ride-hailing services so that motorcycle taxis can ply the streets legally?

In a statement, Malacanang confirmed that Grab executives were lobbying for support when they met the President with the aim of increasing its Philippine ridership to 500,000 daily from the current 300,000 a day.

From their perspective, that’s definitely good business. But looking at it from the side of safety and sanity, it is a precarious game where the lives of commuters are at stake.

Perhaps I can borrow some points of argument from the satirical skit presented by comedian Michael V. that has gone viral on TikTok lately.

The skit in gameshow format, with the “Golden Kamote Trophy” at stake, humorously exposes the reckless and entitled mentality prevalent among many, if not the majority of Filipino motorcycle riders, colloquially referred to as “Kamote riders.”

These riders often prioritize their convenience over road safety and traffic regulations, as evidenced by their disregard for pedestrian spaces, dangerous overtaking practices, and confrontational behavior toward other road users.

By satirizing these behaviors, Michael V sheds light on the alarming reality that legalizing motorcycle taxis may only exacerbate existing road safety concerns.

The Department of Transportation’s pilot study may offer statistical reassurances, but it cannot mask the inherent risks posed by integrating motorcycles into public transport.

*         *         *

SHORT BURSTS. For comments or reactions, email firingline@ymail.com or tweet @Side_View via X app (formerly Twitter). Read current and past issues of this column at http://www.thephilbiznews.com

Advertisement - PS04spot_img

More articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Advertisement - PS05spot_img
Advertisement - PS01spot_img

Must read

Advertisement - PS03spot_img