Transport groups decry LTFRB’s “flip-flopping” on MC Taxi Pilot Program

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Transport Groups to LTFRB: Stay True to Your Word

In a bold and fiery statement, the National Public Transport Coalition (NPTC) and the National Confederation of Tricycle Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines (NACTODAP) lambasted the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) for the agency’s “contradictory statements on the motorcycle (MC) taxi pilot study program.”

Both groups decried what they called as LTFRB’s “flip-flopping on the MC Taxi Pilot program.”

The two transport groups said that LTFRB Chairman Teofilo Guadiz had announced last month that per directives from Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista, no additional MC taxis would be allowed in Metro Manila.

They added that Guadiz also said that any expansion would be redirected to other regions in dire need of improved transportation services.

The announcement came as a relief to many transport groups, which had been struggling with reduced incomes due to the influx of MC taxis. This move also echoed President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s call for more effective traffic congestion solutions in the capital.

NACTODAP president Ariel Lim said Guadiz’ initial statements were clear and widely reported, promising a halt to further MC taxi proliferation in the already congested Metro Manila.

INCONSISTENCY

Lim added, however, that “this past Saturday, Guadiz seemingly reversed course, claiming in an official LTFRB press release that the Technical Working Group (TWG) had not recommended capping the program to three players in Metro Manila.”

The NACTODAP President further stated that the LTFRB press release also stated that the TWG had actually proposed expanding the program by adding more operators and even new areas to better evaluate the pilot study’s impact.

“Chairman Guadiz’s inconsistency is creating chaos and uncertainty among our members,” Lim said. “Our drivers, who depend on their daily earnings to support their families, deserve clarity and stability.”

EXPANSION UNNECESSARY

The transport groups have been vocal in their opposition to increasing the number of MC taxis in Metro Manila, arguing that the current fleet is sufficient to meet public demand. Adding more MC taxis, they warned, will only further strain the already precarious earnings of traditional transport workers like jeepney, tricycle, and taxi drivers.

“We are not against MC taxis,” Lim clarified. “All we ask is for the results of this five-year pilot study to be transparently presented to all stakeholders and for a clear regulatory framework to first be established by Congress. Expanding the pilot study at this stage is unnecessary and undermines the livelihoods of tens of thousands of transport workers. The lack of a regulatory framework may also place both riders and commuters at risk.”

Lim added: “Instead of evaluating all available data and coming up with a regulatory framework, the LTFRB has decided to just expand and accommodate more MC taxis. This does not make any sense. Five years, 45,000 units, and three regions is more than enough to gather data for a pilot study.”

The transport groups are calling on President Marcos, the Department of Transportation (DOTr), and the LTFRB to heed their pleas.

“We ask the LTFRB: Stay true to your word of a moratorium in Metro Manila. We need decisive action that prioritizes the welfare of all transport workers,” Lim urged. “Our livelihoods are on the line, and we cannot afford more uncertainty and bureaucratic missteps.”

As the controversy over the MC taxi pilot study continues, NACTODAP and NPTC leaders said that they stand firm in their demand for accountability and transparency from the LTFRB and all involved government agencies. They remained hopeful that their voices will be heard and that meaningful reforms will be enacted to safeguard their future.

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