Angkas protests smaller rider allocation

Neil Jean Navarro

(UPDATED) -- Around 14,000 Angkas bikers in Metro Manila and Metro Cebu are now at risk of losing their jobs after the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) limited the motorcycle taxi company's operations.

The inter-agency Technical Working Group (TWG) on motorcycle taxis has extended the pilot run of motorcycle taxi operations, setting a new overall allotted cap of 39,000 registered bikers to be divided among Angkas and two new providers, JoyRide and Move It -- 10,000 for Metro Manila and 3,000 for Metro Cebu per ride-hailing company.

The newly allocated cap threatens the jobs of approximately 14,000 out of the current 27,000 Angkas bikers.

In an official statement on Saturday, December 21, 2019, Angkas chief transport advocate George Royeca expressed his dismay on the new policy despite being extended as a motorcycle taxi services provider until 2020. Royeca pointed out Angkas' willingness to provide more bikers to address the commuters' increasing demand of their services but they were not allowed by the LTFRB.

He added that prioritizing the safety of the passengers and the welfare of their bikers will now become more difficult to achieve because of the new cap.

"Bakit kailangang bawasan at tanggalan ng trabaho ang mga bikers natin? Bakit kailangang parusahan ang mga bikers na nakapag-training at napatunayan na ang galing sa daan?" Royeca said.

(Why do we have to reduce and take away jobs from our bikers? Why do we to punish our bikers who were well-trained and proved their mastery on the roads?)

The LTFRB has yet to issue a statement regarding the claims of Angkas.

Meanwhile, the hashtag #SaveAngkas trended worldwide as the now viral Facebook post by Angkas asked for the support of the riding public to help bikers keep their jobs.

Filipino netizens showed their sympathy and praised Angkas bikers for being kind, helpful, and polite. They also expressed their anger and dissapointment at the government's decision to limit Angkas' services. The Extended Pilot Implementation will start on December 23, 2019 until March 23, 2020. (SunStar Philippines)