Bill files to recognize and support motorcycle-related sports in Congress

For many aspiring competitive riders, pursuing a career in motorsports is usually difficult and requires a lot money. After all, the rider typically has to pay for everything from the bike, the gear, fuel, tires, track time, to even travel expenses. For those with talent but not a lot of financial resources, becoming a professional racer is often reliant on sponsors or will just remain a dream. That may change with a new bill being filed.

Nueva Vizcaya representative, Luisa Lloren Cuaresma, has recently filed House Bill (HB) 7865, or “An Act Mandating The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) to Recognize Motorcycle Sports and for Other Purposes.”

To put it simply, if HB 7865 or the "Motorcycle Sports Act" becomes a law, all forms of motorcycle-related sports activities such as road racing (circuit), motocross, enduro, and “other motorcycle sports that the Philippines may adopt provided that it is recognized as an international motorcycle sporting event”.

The proposed law also aims to develop talents from grassroots and to make the Philippines more competitive in the international arena of motorcycle sports.

Creation of a Motorcycle Sports Authority

Under the proposed law, a Motorcycle Sports Authority (MSA), which is a motorcycle governing body will be created under the PSC. This agency will oversee, regulate, supervise, support and promote the motorcycle sport industry in the country. The bill also stipulates who will compose and comprise the MSA.

“The Motorcycle Sports Authority will be a collegial body to be headed by the chairperson of the PSC,” said the proposed law. Also, the MSA will be composed of one representative from the Department of Transportation (DOTr), Department of Tourism (DOT), Department of Education (DepEd), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), the Department of Health (DOH), mayor of the city or town where the motorcycle sports training/ racetrack facility is located, and a representative from each duly registered motorcycle sports organizations.

Philippine Motorcycle Sport Facility

Under the proposed law, the PSC, through the MSA, will be mandated to create the Philippine Motorcycle Sports Facility. That means, building a facility specifically for motorcycle sports, where motorcycle athletes can hone and better their skills with the right infrastructure and equipment.

Recognition in international competitions

If HB 7865 becomes a law, all eligible motorcycle sports athletes have the right to train and participate in motorcycle-related competitions here and abroad and also represent the country in international competitions.

The bill also does not discriminate against any disability of the motorcycle sports athlete and have the right to train and participate in motorcycle-related competitions here and abroad, as long as they are certified fit to compete by a public health physician.

No more waivers at tracks

Motorcycle Sports Act bill filed in congress image

If you've had a track day or competed in a sanctioned race on any racetrack before, organizers usually have you sign a “waiver of liability”, which basically absolves them from any responsibility in the event of an accident.

If the Motorcycle Sports Act becomes law, Section 21 explicitly says that “any waiver of future accident or injury shall be null and void being contrary to public policy.” Simply put, the organizers could be held liable in the event of an accident or injury arising from their negligence.

Tax-free competition equipment

HB 7865 also allows for tax-free importation and export of motorcycle sporting gear and equipment, as long as these are only used for local and international motorcycle sport competition. This means, if you’re a recognized motorcycle athlete, importing a race-ready motorcycle from abroad will be tax-free, as well as exporting them when competing abroad.

A chance for everyone

Hopefully, if and when this becomes a law, this new governing body will make motorcycle sports activities and facilities more accessible to more aspiring athletes. Government support should make motorcycle sports and resources needed to compete abroad more accessible to the public, and not just for those who are well-off.