MANILA—Motorcycle taxi-hailing firm Angkas said Friday that weight was not yet factored into bookings following the release of its new in-app feature, which some of its users deemed discriminatory to "heavy" passengers.
The popular transit service, regarded as an alternative solution against the traffic-choked Philippine capital, said the "Weight Safety Check" was all about safety.
"This is based on our discussions with the DOTr [Department of Tourism] at the start of the pilot back in June 2019," said Angkas operations chief David Medrana, adding the provisions could be found in the passenger safety cards carried by its bikers and online materials.
Angkas recently updated its app and required passengers to disclose their weight information. To ensure the safety of the biker and passenger, it said "heavy passengers may be denied."
The "Weight Safety Check" requires the user to specify their weight range from below 68 kg, 68 kg to 90 kg and over 90 kg.
Angkas said it was still in the data collection phase "to study implementation for a safer ride for all."
"Weight is not yet being factored into bookings. Eventually, our goal is to ensure all bookings match you with the most appropriate bike and biker," Medrana said.
He added, "For now, this should not impact anything from before, and rest assured we are treating this sensitive data with the utmost care."
Reacting to the update, some users expressed concern while others offered humorous reaction.
"Parang nakaka-offend naman 'yong pagtanggi ng Angkas sa mga mabibigat na passenger. Like paano 'yon? Ire-reject nila 'yong booking kapag mataba?" one Twitter user wrote.
Another said, "While I appreciate the efforts of the management for giving a safer ride, I am also worried that this might cause a longer time of booking a ride for chubby people like me."
Some chose to respond with humor. "Pinaparamdam na ni Angkas na kailangan ko nang mag-diet," a Twitter user posted.