The Department of Transportation wants the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to look into the growing number of underground motorcycle bookings on social media site Facebook.
“We have a very close contact and communication with DICT, we will present to them this problem,” Assistant Secretary Elvira Medina told reporters during the Transport Watch forum in Makati.
“You have to find the roots first, because if you can destroy the roots or kill them, it would be easier to regulate,” she added.
Transport advocate George Royeca bared the existence of Facebook group Sakay and Padala 24/7 wherein riders post where they are heading and seek “passengers” for a fee.
The group has 180,404 members.
Once a customer has gotten a rider to transport, he or she must delete the post right away.
“There are about six million motorcycles in the country, zero regulation. In Metro Manila, a lot of our motorcycle riders have no training,” Royeca said.
He said this profit-making activity is illegal because nobody is accountable in case accidents happen.
“People who are running Facebook are not addressing issues on Angkas, they are addressing issues on Uber? Why don’t they address this?” Royeca said.
Antonio La Viña, former dean of Ateneo School of Government, said the government should amend the transportation law and allow motorcycles to act as ride-sharing carriers.
“We’re aiming for legislative advocacy because the laws are outdated. Allow the government to regulate habal-habal,” La Viña said.
He pointed out that building subways and railways will not solve the traffic problem because different provinces have different transport needs.
“Some cities are not big enough to afford subways and trains. Don’t think it would solve the traffic situation because we don’t have the same situation all over the country,” La Vina said. “Inclusive mobility is about using all modes of transportation that is practical to move people around.”