transport system in the Philippines

Sen. Bam to LTFRB: Embrace innovation, support start ups

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) must embrace innovation and provide some leeway to transport start ups, which provide safe and affordable means of transportation to the commuting public.

“The government should encourage innovation, not curtail it. The LTFRB must give these transport start ups some leeway as we review current laws on franchising,” said Senator Bam Aquino, chairman of the Senate committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship

Aquino said the LTFRB can provide these transport start ups, such as Uber, Tripid, GrabTaxi and EasyTaxi, some leeway, the same way it provided provisional authority to cargo trucks and new buses to ply their routes

“The government needs all the help it can get, especially from the private sector, as it continues to find ways to improve the country’s mass transport system and solve the perennial traffic problem,” the senator said.

Aquino describes Uber as an innovation as it provides commuters with a safer mode of transportation and quality service at the same time.

Uber is a high-tech transportation network that makes mobile apps that connect passengers with drivers of private vehicles for hire and car-pooling services. The company arranges pickups wherein cars are reserved by sending a text message or by using a mobile app and within 10 minutes the vehicle would arrive

The uber system helps alleviate the monstrous traffic problems in California, especially through car-pooling.

“The government should not hold back innovations that alleviate the plight of our commuting public,” the senator said.

 A staunch supporter of start up businesses, Aquino has filed a measure granting them tax exemption from operations for two years.

Aquino said Senate Bill 2217, also known as the Start-Up Business Bill, would provide these enterprises the proper time to stand on their own as they try to create a niche in the market.

“The intervention provides the opportunity for these start-ups to get organized, establish their business operations and market base,” said Aquino.

The measure proposes a tax exemption from operations for two years, given that these enterprises are not an affiliate, a subsidiary or a franchise of any existing company.

Also, these start-ups must not have any other existing registered company in case of a sole proprietorship.

MRT 40-Minute Waiting Time Unacceptable – Sen. Bam

Senator Bam Aquino urged concerned government and private entities to work together to reduce the waiting time for thousands of commuters to ride the MRT-3 from 40 minutes to 10 minutes.

Aquino made this call after he was informed that the waiting time for passengers before they could alight the trains will go down by 75 percent if the proposed rehabilitation plan worth P6.8 billion for the MRT-3 is fully implemented.

“Let’s work together to achieve this 10-minute waiting time. We owe it to the thousands of commuting Filipinos to make life easier for them everyday,” Aquino said after the hearing of the Senate committee on public services on the MRT-3 accident that injured more than 30 people last Aug. 13.

Aquino expressed disappointment when he was informed that the rehabilitation plan could take up to two years with all the legal wrangling between the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and Metro Rail Transit Corporation (MRTC), a private entity.

Aquino branded the Metro Rail Transit-3 as a failed public-private partnership (PPP).

“This is not a good example of PPP, with what happened to our MRT,” Aquino stressed.

Aquino advised DOTC officials to learn from the MRT-3 experience to avoid problems in the future.

 “Can we say that we have learned from experience already and this would not happen again?” Sen. Bam asked DOTC officials, to which they replied ‘yes.’

At the same, the senator also urged the transportation officials to earmark the needed funds to rehabilitate a critical component that causes the MRT-3’s frequent malfunction at the soonest possible time.

The DOTC revealed the trains’ traction motors are the main cause of MRT breakdown as they have reached its limit of usage of 1.5 million kilometers.

 However, Aquino noticed in the presentation that the P94,500,000 fund needed for replacement of traction motors is earmarked in the 2016 budget.

“If this is the main reason why our trains have stopped, how come it wasn’t in the budget last year?” Aquino asked.

Abaya said he has already requested the Department of Budget and Management to include the needed funds in the supplemental budget for 2014.

“If it’s not successful, it will be included in the 2015 budget,” Abaya guaranteed. 

Scroll to top