MANILA (UPDATE)—Senatorial candidates representing both administration and opposition parties on Saturday showed solidarity with motorcycle-hailing application Angkas, vowing to craft legislation to remove legal roadblocks preventing its operation.
During the event dubbed "Angkas Safety Fiesta," Senate bets Grace Poe, Bam Aquino, Chel Diokno, Bong Go, and JV Ejercito showed up to support the app and its 4,000 drivers present at the gathering.
Angkas has a pending motion before the Supreme Court asking it to lift the temporary restraining order it issued in December, which allowed transport authorities to apprehend its riders.
During the event, Diokno promised that if elected he will advocate for the passage of the Magna Carta for Riders and the Unified Motorcycle Act.
The human rights lawyer added that it is time the law recognizes motorcycles as a legitimate vehicle for public transport.
"Dapat kilalanin na ng ating batas na legal ang hanapbuhay ng mga rider . . . Kailangan natin isulong na magkaroon sila ng batas na kikilalanin ang kanilang karapatan at siyempre mare-regulate din," he said.
Poe, chair of the Senate public services committee, said government is looking for an alternative means of transportation to resolve traffic in the metro.
"Naghahanap talaga ng ibang klaseng transportasyon sa dami na rin siguro ng nagsisiksikan sa kalsada," she said.
"Sa atin pong mga driver hanapbuhay ang hangad natin para sa kanila."
Ejercito said he will support the Senate bill seeking to legalize motorcycles as a mode of public transportation.
"Not until we have the mass transit in place, pwede na muna nating suportahan ito . . . They have to prove sa hearing na safe sila," he said.
Aquino and Dela Rosa also expressed their support for the pending bill.
"Kung gustong maghanapbuhay, bakit mo naman pipigilan," Aquino said.
Dela Rosa added: "Suportahan natin ang hanapbuhay nila."
Launched in 2017, the country's first on-demand motorcycle booking platform has a 99.997 percent safety record, Angkas head of Regulatory and Public Affairs George Royeca told ANC in an interview last year.
—With reports from Arra Perez, ABS-CBN News