BAGUIO CITY The City Council, during last Monday’s regular session, requested the Cordillera office of the Land Transportation Office (LTO-CAR) to grant a 30-day moratorium on the apprehension of drivers of food deliveries for them to upgrade their non-professional licenses to professional licenses.
City legislators reached the decision after LTO-CAR legal officer Jessie Balagot informed them that based on provisions of Republic Act (RA) 4136 or the Land Transportation Code of the Philippines, motorcycle drivers used to ferry goods and people should possess a professional drivers license.
Earlier, the council invited representatives from the motorcycle food deliveries, City Permits and Licensing Office, LTO-CAR, Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) concerning issues on food deliveries.
Representatives from Grab Food, Food Ninja and Food Panda admitted that most of their motorcycle riders hold non-professional drivers licenses while working with the food delivery companies serving the needs of the residents during these community quarantine periods.
In line with the request, the food delivery companies committed to comply with the prevailing regulations providing for the upgrading of the non-professional licenses of their motorcycle riders to professional licenses but the LTO-CAR should give them sufficient time to comply with the established rules.
The council recognized the quality services provided by the food delivery companies to the residents during these quarantine times but reminded the company officials to LTO rules and regulations governing their operations, especially in ensuring their drivers possess professional drivers licenses before being allowed to delivery food to customers.
Balagot said he will bring the matter to the attention of the LTO-CAR regional director for appropriate action.
Food delivery companies disclosed a number of their riders were apprehended by elements of the LTO Flying Squad for possessing non-professional drivers licenses and were meted a fine of P3,000 each, but the one-year suspension of their licenses had been appealed for reconsideration by the LTO-CAR regional director whose decision on the matter is being awaited.
Grab Food, Food Ninja and Food Panda representatives stated that they were not aware of such LTO requirement as most of their riders allegedly work on part-time basis but committed to comply with the same once there will be a moratorium allowing their drivers to apply for the upgrading of their licenses and take the computerized examination for such purpose.
Food Panda has some 200 riders while Food Ninja and Grab Food have 50 riders each that cater to the food delivery requirements of residents who want to stay home during the community quarantine period.
By Dexter A. See
Photo by Joseph B. Manzano