Blacklisting Angkas ‘very possible’ over alleged violations

Neil Jean Navarro

MOTORCYCLE taxi provider Angkas may be blacklisted due to "clear and blatant" violations of the guidelines for the motorcycle taxis pilot run, an official of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board said on Tuesday, January 7.

Antonio Gardiola, a member of the LTFRB board and chairman of the technical working group (TWG) for motorcycle taxis, said they verified reports that Angkas violated rules such as improper wearing of safety vests, imposing fare surge and operating outside the pilot areas.

The pilot implementation is allowed only in Metro Manila and Metro Cebu. Angkas, however, has been found to be offering services also in the cities of Cagayan de Oro and General Santos, Gardiola added.

He said apprehension of motorcycle taxi riders operating beyond the allowed areas of the pilot study has started.

"This is clear and blatant - not following the guidelines. Meron kasi kaming si-net na guidelines, and one of the guidelines is yung provision for blacklisting... so ‘very possible’ for them (Angkas) to be blacklisted,” he said.

He added that Angkas is still allowed to operate during the extension of the pilot run until March 23, 2020 but it is possible that the company will be blacklisted when it applies for a license once motorcycle taxis are legalized.

Under the existing Land Transportation and Traffic Code, motorcycles are not allowed to be used for public transport.

TRO

Meanwhile, the Mandaluyong Regional Trial Court has issued a 72-hour temporary restraining order (TRO) stopping the TWG from imposing a cap on the number of motorcycle taxis allotted for Angkas and two new players under the extended pilot run.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Gardiola said the TWG has yet to receive a copy of the said TRO but assured that the court order will not affect the guidelines and general pilot run.

“We are yet to receive the order from the court... Hindi naman siguro maapektuhan ng TRO ang study/guidelines ng TWG,” he said.

When asked if the TRO would defeat the purpose of the cap and if they will allow more bikers, the official said they will just wait until they receive a copy of the TRO and plan their next step with government lawyers and consultants.

In a Facebook post, the TWG assured that they will follow any required legal process.

Redistribution of riders

Under the extended pilot run, Angkas and new players JoyRide and Move It are each allotted 10,000 riders for Metro Manila and 3,000 riders for Metro Cebu.

Gardiola said they have extended the deadline for Angkas, Move It and JoyRide to have their riders registered until January 17.

He said that for Metro Manila, Angkas has already reached the cap of 10,000 registered riders. Move It has 2,413 while JoyRide has 6,907 riders.

In case Move It and JoyRide fail to reach the cap by January 17, Gardiola said the balance will be redistributed to whichever company is ready.

“Up to January 17, pag itong dalawa (Move It and JoyRide), hindi nila ma-meet yung 10, 000, yung negative variance will be redistributed kung sino yung ready, so yung ready lang dito, ang Angkas kasi na reach na nila yung 10, 000, so maa-absorb nila yan. Kaya anong problema ng Angkas, may darating sa kanila, bakit sila nagmamadali?” Gardiola said.

(Up to January 17, when these two companies will not meet the 10,000 cap, their negative variance will be redistributed to whichever company is ready, so the company which is all ready here is Angkas because they have reached the cap, so they will absorb the balance. So what’s the problem with Angkas, they will have the chance for more riders, why hurry?”)

The TWG will submit its final report on the motorcycle taxis pilot study on April 15 to Congress. (SunStar Philippines)