Court allows Angkas back on streets
A Mandaluyong City court has allowed motorcycle taxis using the Angkas booking app to resume operations, a year after the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTRFB) banned the service for lacking a franchise (colorum).
In an order issued last month by Judge Carlos Valenzuela in Mandaluyong Regional Trial Court Branch 213, the LTFRB and the Department of Transportation (DOTr) were prevented from impeding Angkas’ operations or apprehending its bikers until further hearing.
The company behind the Angkas app filed a petition for declaratory relief in July after the DOTr failed to comply with a congressional directive to amend a department order pertaining to transport network vehicle services (TNVS), or private vehicles operating on the platforms of transport network companies (TNCs) like Grab, Hype or Owto.
‘Safe, swift, affordable’
The directive, issued by the House committee on Metro Manila development, gave DOTr 30 days to include motorcycle taxis among government-accredited TNVS.
Angkas head David Medrana said his company and its partner drivers “couldn’t wait to go back providing safe, swift and affordable rides to the public.”
Medrana informed lawmakers about the order in a House hearing on Thursday.
In a joint statement, the DOTr and the LTFRB said they were “saddened” by the order, stressing they were only being “faithful to their mandate” to keep commuters safe when they ordered Angkas to cease operations.
“Our position is that motorcycles registered in the service are not authorized to conduct business and offer public transport under Republic Act No. 4136. For them to be allowed, the law has to be amended by Congress,” they said.
They accused Angkas of engaging in unfair business practices and maintained that motorcycles were not a safe mode of public transportation.
“If Angkas is to continue accrediting motorcycles registered as private vehicles to book rides and accept passengers for a fee, it is … without authority from government regulators, and are, therefore, considered colorum vehicles,” they added.
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