24 January 2020
Re: Motorcycles (MCs) as public transport and multi-homing approach
The use of motorcycle (MC) taxis as a mode of public transportation has given commuters an additional option amid worsening traffic conditions in urban areas. In many rural areas around the country, these habal-habal are widely used as main transport.
The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) expresses its support for the passage of Senate bills1 amending the Land Transportation and Traffic Code to allow two-wheeled MC vehicles as a mode of public transport. The Senate bills are timely, widen the choices for commuters, and open opportunities for businesses and innovators.
We understand that the results of the Motorcycle Taxi Service Inter-Agency Technical Working Group’s (TWG) pilot study will be critical to the future of this new market involving MC taxis and online ride-hailing, especially in shaping regulations concerning safety, viability, and accreditation. We acknowledge the legitimacy and objectives of the study, and the need to on-board as wide a set of perspectives as possible. With this in mind, we encourage the TWG to consider the pro-competitive effects of multi-homing in its study.
In this context, a multi-homing policy allows drivers to choose which platform to offer their services, the same way that passengers can choose among different apps. Multi-homing also incentivizes platforms to continuously innovate and compete to keep both drivers and passengers safe and satisfied. Preventing multi-homing among drivers may lead to inefficiencies that will ultimately be detrimental to the riding public.
Whether in the experimental phase or once the law on MCs will be passed, competition must be recognized as an essential element in stakeholders’ operations that bear impact on the riding public.
While we recognize that the pilot study is intended to be of limited duration and will end in March, any situation thereafter which allows or contemplates the continued operation of MC taxis and online ride-hailing should ensure fair, market-driven competition in the provision of MC taxi services.
The study is a preview of a new market on the rise and this is an opportunity for government agencies, with our respective mandates, to come together to craft policies in parallel or ahead of these developments.
Under a platform of unity, the PCC welcomes the TWG’s call for cooperation and will do its share by looking at the competition aspect of the guidelines to ensure competition and consumer welfare are protected. The PCC stands ready to offer advisory support to the TWG, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), and the Department of Transportation (DOTr) in the formulation of policies that meet the dual objectives of promoting healthy market competition and protecting the welfare of the stakeholders in this important sector.
-Philippine Competition Commission
1) Senate Bill No. 50. “An Act Allowing the Use of Motorcycles as Public Utility Vehicles, Amending for the Purpose Republic Act No. 4136, Otherwise Known as the “Land Transportation and Traffic Code” filed by Senator Ralph G. Recto.
2) Senate Bill No. 128. “An Act Allowing and Regulating the Use of Motorcycles as Public Utility Vehicles, Amending for the Purpose Republic Act No. 4136, Otherwise Known as the Land Transportation and Traffic Code, and for Other Purposes” filed by Senator Grace Poe.
3) Senate Bill No. 409. “An Act Recognizing Motorcycles as Public Utility Vehicles, Amending for the Purpose Republic Act No. 4136, Otherwise Known as the “Land Transportation and Traffic Code”, and Republic Act No. 7160, Otherwise Known as the “Local Government Code”, as Amended, and for Other Purposes filed by Senator Imee R. Marcos.
4) Senate Bill No. 1025. “An Act Allowing and Regulating the Use of Motorcycles as Public Utility Vehicles, Amending for this Purpose Republic Act No. 4136, Otherwise Known as the Land Transportation and Traffic Code, and for Other Purposes” filed by Senator Juan Edgardo (Sonny) Angara.