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Solon bats for expansion of motorcycle taxis outside Metro Manila

MANILA, Philippines — A House lawmaker has voiced his support for expanding the government's allotment of motorcycle taxis outside Metro Manila as the Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board is set to greenlight the participation of more players in its pilot study.

Rep. Reynante Arrogancia (Quezon, 3rd District), who also serves as vice chair of the House transportation panel, said that motorcycles are the more accessible transportation option in provinces where cars or other vehicles are costly to buy or rent.

"The situation in the provinces is very different from the conditions in Metro-Manila, Metro-Cebu, and Metro-Davao," Arrogancia said.

"In the provinces, most ordinary people cannot afford to buy or rent cars or SUVs. Access to digital platforms for hiring transportation is likewise limited," he added.

The lawmaker said that tricycles and motorcycles get people to places where public utility jeepneys do not traverse.

"The motorcycle taxi program should have different conditions and rules for the provinces," the lawmaker said, adding that there should be a "reasonable" set of rules for all motorcycle riders to follow. 

Arrogancia added that a rational route plan is necessary for motorcycles in the provinces and in the major metropolitan areas.

Earlier this week, transport groups appealed to the LTFRB to direct its expansion of motorcycle taxis in areas outside the "congest urban environment" of Metro Manila.

Currently, only three companies are allowed to operate motorcycle taxis in the Philippines -- Angkas, Joy Ride and MoveIt (Grab).

Vigor Mendoza, chief of the Land Transportation Office chief, has confirmed that the 45,000 cap on motorcycle taxis in Manila has been reached.

This represents more than half of the total allocation of 63,000 motorcycle taxisn the whole country.