SAN JUAN CITY — On Friday, a transport group called on President Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. to immediately halt the expansion of motorcycle (MC) taxis. Ariel Lim, President of the National Public Transport Coalition/National Confederation of Tricycle Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines (NACTODAP/NPTC), stated that all members of the transport sector are affected.

The group is urging the government to cease the expansion of MC taxis, particularly in Metro Manila. They seek a thorough review and discussion of the data from the MC Taxi Pilot Study, involving all affected parties in the transportation sector. Additionally, they are filing a petition with the San Juan City Regional Trial Court for a temporary restraining order against the expansion.

During a press conference at McDonald’s San Juan, Lim expressed concerns, saying, “The problem here is that even Grab doesn’t want to complain or speak out. Aside from the Congressional hearing, MC taxis are already being discussed.”

Lim emphasized that they are not against MC taxis, as habal-habal (informal motorcycle taxis) existed before. However, the recent on Dec. 20, 2023, has raised concerns. He highlighted that the situation was deliberated upon by the Technical Working Group (TWG).

Regarding the apprehensions within the transport sector, Lim revealed, “We’ve heard that some are just switching to Move It. Other members are hesitant to speak up, fearing removal from apps or reprisals. They feel powerless and worried about potential conflicts.”

Lim clarified their stance, stating, “We’re not fighting the government. We’re fighting for our rights. We’re not here to shut down companies. We just want things sorted out.”

Lim emphasized the need for government assistance, stating, “The government is there to help us, not to make things harder for us.”

The TWG, chaired by the LTFRB, was expected to complete the MC pilot study. Lim stressed that the expansion of MC taxis goes beyond the pilot study’s scope.

“The addition of MC taxis and TNVS (Transport Network Vehicle Service) should stop. Enough is enough,” the group exclaimed during the press conference, attended by representatives from various transport sectors.

In attendance were representatives from Tricycle Operators and Drivers Association (TODA), motorcycle riders, taxi groups, jeepneys, UV Express, TNVS, bus sector, and truckers group.