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Hyundai’s rain water harvesting facility and water distribution truck in Tanay, Rizal.

A rainwater harvesting facility system, breast cancer awareness programs, road safety initiatives, preservation of forests projects, facilities for healthy communities, education to upgrade skills are among the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs funded and implemented by the automotive companies.

Those programs that have benefited many communities show the “heart” of the automotive industry.

The CSR programs are the stars in the Driven To Serve (DTS) awards now being prepared by the Society of Philippine Motoring Journalists (SPMJ).  Now on its fourth year, the DTS awards aim to give recognition to the good deeds of auto manufacturers who are usually silent about their community programs.

As SPMJ Chairman and Founder Ray Butch Gamboa of STV has said many times, the  DTS awards will also encourage more companies in the motoring industry to fund more projects that benefit the communities where they operate.

He was right, of course.  Every year, we find a new CSR program in the list of entries for the Driven To Serve awards.

This year, two automotive companies – Maxus Philippines and Suzuki Auto Philippines – have joined the growing list of companies who have CSR programs.

Each year, when we review the CSR programs, we are surprised to find that the auto companies have also extended their CSR programs to benefit a larger community.  For example, the rain water harvesting facility system of Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc. (HARI) has already gone into phase two, distributing the drinking water to other neighboring barangays where the facility is located in Tanay, Rizal.

The Driven To Serve awards shall recognize CSR programs in four categories – Road Safety, Education and Training, Environment, and Community Development.

NLEX Corporation and Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors (AVID) are supporting the DTS project.

The awarding ceremony will be held April 1.


Motorcycle taxi operations

Should we continue to have motorcycle taxis?  That will be finally decided after the Senate debates on the bill that will legalize motorcycle taxi operations in the country.

Senator Grace Poe has sponsored Senate Bill No. 1341, the proposed “Motorcycle-for-Hire Act” allowing and regulating the use of motorcycles for public transport.

Legalizing motorcycle taxi operations will help address safety risks present in both registered motorcycle-for-hire and the “colorums” or habal-habal. It will also improve commuter welfare by giving them the option to choose from legitimate service providers, the senator said.

“It’s already 2020. It is about time that we harness the power of technology to help us address mobility issues. In terms of numbers alone, shared motorcycles are an untapped resource that we should take advantage of,” Poe said in her speech.

SB No. 1341 seeks to amend Republic Act No. 4136, the Land Transportation and Tariff Code, which currently prohibits the use of motorcycles for ferrying commuters.

Under the bill, motorcycle-for-hire is defined “as any two-wheeled motor vehicle registered with the Land Transportation Office, which transports passengers and goods on a for-hire basis, and which may utilize online ride hailing or pre-arranged transportation platforms.”

The motorcycles-for-hire shall secure a certificate of public convenience or a special permit from the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).

Poe said that drivers shall also undergo rigorous training, thus ensuring the safety factor of that service.

The passage of the bill is also supported by other senators. Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, in his co-sponsorship speech, said he is confident that President Duterte will sign into law the motorcycle taxi bill.

Senator Francis Tolentino also backed the proposed legalization of motorcycle taxis. “Institutionalizing motorcycles for hire will not only provide ease and convenience in commute, but more importantly, it will ensure a viable and alternative mode of transportation for our many kababayans (countrymen) who, every day, wage battle against traffic in Metro Manila,” he said.

By Pinky Concha Colmenares

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