The Department of Transportation (DOTr) insisted that the motorcycle taxi service, pegged to start on March 16, is illegal.

Assistant secretary Alberto Suansing on Monday reiterated that Backride Palawan is not part of the authorized pilot service greenlit by the national government.

“Colorum ‘yang operation nila. Hindi sila pwede mag-start. The pilot program includes around 63,000 riders pero hindi kasama ang Palawan,” he said.

Backride Palawan, on a Facebook post on Sunday, announced that their official service will be launched on March 16.

Recruitment is currently ongoing despite the lack of necessary permits.

“Sa mga nagsasabi na scam, wala pong babayaran kahit piso ‘yong mga taong gusto sumali sa program na ito. This program is to help both commuters and riders. Nakuha na po namin approval na need namin. So far everything is good to go,” based on the Facebook statements responding to some concerned public.

However, Suansing also said that they can recruit drivers, but under no circumstance that they will be allowed to operate.

“That’s still illegal and we are still deliberating on that. Whether motorcycles are allowed to be a public utility vehicle (PUV) is not within the purview of the LGU. They cannot give franchise,” said Suansing in an earlier interview with Palawan News.

Some Palaweño netizens also reacted to the published launch pointing out that the operation is harmful.

“Bawal yan sa Puerto. Mga mararaskal driver ng motorcycle singit ng singit kaya maraming nadidisgrasya na motorcycle kasi walang disiplina sa kalsada. Ganun din sa ibang tricycle lalo na mga colorum mga mayayabang sa kalsada lalo na mga private vehicles sobrang yabang sa kalsada kaya di yan pwede dito,” said one concerned netizen.