As #SaveAngkas trends, Poe questions restricting motor-taxi operations

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 21 2019 05:33 PM

A dispatcher for ride-hailing app Angkas gets the name of a student at the Recto LRT-2 station for the transport firm's free ride service from Recto in Manila to Katipunan in Quezon City amid partial suspension of operations at the train line. FILE

MANILA—Sen. Grace Poe on Saturday said an explanation is needed amid an inter-agency panel's order to limit the number of motorcycle taxis plying Metro Manila and Cebu, a decision that will affect 17,000 Angkas drivers and the commuting public.

The inter-agency body — made up of representatives from Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), Land Transportation Office (LTO), and Department of Transportation (DOTr) — decided to extend motorcycle taxi's pilot implementation until next year but ruled to put a cap on its fleets.

In Metro Manila, only 30,000 biker-taxis will be allowed on the road and 9,000 in Cebu.

"Nais nating malaman ang mga pamantayan at parametro na ginamit ng TWG (technical working group) sa kanilang pagpapasya . . . Hahatiin nang pantay-pantay sa tatlong operator? Paano ang kasalukuyan nang bikers na lagpas sa alokasyon ng kanilang kumpanya?" Poe said.

(We want to know the basis and parameters behind the TWG's decision. Will the slots be distributed equally to each operator? How about those companies whose fleets will exceed their allocation?)

Poe also questioned the timing of the decision.

"Higit sa lahat, ito ba ang tamang oras para sa implementasyon nito kung kailan magpa-Pasko at pahirapan ang pagbu-book ng sasakyan ang mga pasahero? Ano ang gagawin natin sa diumano’y 17,000 bikers na mawawalan ng akreditasyon?"

(More importantly, is this the right time to implement this order, during Christmas when demand for rides is at its peak? How about those 17,000 Angkas riders who will allegedly lose their accreditation?)

Angkas said that, because of a government-authorized order, 17,000 of its 27,000 accredited riders will lose their jobs.

"Bakit kailangan bawasan at tanggalan ng trabaho ang mga bikers natin? Bakit kailangan parusahan ang mga bikers na nakapag-training at napatunayan na ang galing sa daan?" Angkas said in a statement uploaded on Facebook.

(Why limit and take away the jobs of our bikers? Why punish bikers who went through training and have proven their skills on the road?)

#SaveAngkas is also trending on Twitter.

Angkas said it would mount a "unity gathering" in front of the People Power Monument along EDSA White Plains Sunday morning to protest the LTFRB policy.