Some lawmakers are reportedly opposed to the government's policy of phasing out 13-year-old taxicabs, arguing that the move would severely affect the livelihood of over 1,000 utility vehicle operators.
With the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) refusing to issue certifications of franchise validity for units that have reached the 13-year age limit, the members of the Coalition of Operators and Drivers of UV Express ATBP (CODEX) are complaining that they cannot renew the registration of their respective units.
"Since they cannot ply their routes without renewing their motor vehicle registration, they don't have a choice but to stop operating," said CODEX president Rosalino Marable.
One solon who's on the side of CODEX is Rep. Teddy Casiño (Bayan Muna), who is arguing that no public consultations took place between the government and the operators.
"It is like the policy is being implemented without studying the current situation," said Casiño. "Government should heed the call of the people."
Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan (Gabriela) is also against the policy, arguing that government should devise a scheme to help the operators acquire new units through an easy-installment plan.
"This scheme should give the drivers a chance to continue operating while the law is being implemented," said Ilagan.
According to the House of Representatives, some 20,000 units of AUVs and vans that are franchised as GT express vehicles nationwide--or at least 34 percent--will be affected by the government's policy this year.