Angkas riders call on lawmakers to amend R.A. 4136
MANILA, Philippines — Leaders of Angkas riders on Friday called on Congress to discuss laws on motorcycle transportation and eventually amend R.A. 4136 or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code.
Romeo Manglungsod, chair of the Manila Riders Club, said the concerns of Angkas riders should be prioritized because it aids the country’s transportation problem.
“Naniniwala kami na ngayon na ‘yong panahon para baguhin ang isang lumang batas na R.A. 4136. ‘Yon ang aming hiling dahil hindi na siya (R.A. 4136) napapanahon (We believe that this is the time to amend old laws such as R.A. 4136),” Maglungsod said during a press briefing in Quezon City.
“Sa mga congressman, sa mga senador, talakayin naman natin ito. Kasi ito ay isang solusyon sa mga pangkaraniwang mamamayan. Yung mga empleyado niyo, sumasakay ng transportasyon ‘yan eh para ma-meet ‘yong deadline niyo,” he added.
(For congressmen and senators, let’s discuss this issue. This is a solution to our transportation problems. Your employees also ride public transportation.)
Section 7(c) of R.A. 4136 states that “private motorcycles, scooters, or motor wheel attachments […] shall not be used for hire under any circumstances and shall not be used to solicit, accept, or be used to transport passengers or freight for pay.”
Angkas drivers fall under this category as they are using private motorcycles without franchises to transport passengers.
Angkas voluntarily suspended its operations in November 2017 after the Department of Transportation and LTFRB ruled that Angkas operations are illegal.
In September 2018, riders and passengers rejoiced when the Mandaluyong City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 213 barred the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) from interfering with Angkas operations, bringing back the ride-sharing company.
However, celebrations were cut short when a Supreme Court resolution dated December 5 overruled Mandaluyong RTC’s decision.
Earlier, Angkas executives claimed that the SC resolution did not decide whether their business is illegal or not; hence, they can continue their operations despite reminders from the LTFRB.
Despite the friction between Angkas and LTFRB, Angkas management said they are willing to discuss matters.
“Hindi po ito LTFRB versus Angkas, hindi po DOTr versus Angkas. Ang natatalo po dito ang mga Pilipino, ang 25,000 na drivers (This is not LTFRB versus Angkas or DOTr versus Angkas. Filipinos and 25,000 drivers are the losers here),” Angkas spokesperson George Royeca said.
“We are reaching out to LTFRB Chairman (Martin) Delgra, that we can sit down and really discuss solutions, what we can do for the riding public,” he added.
DOTr and LTFRB also expressed same sentiments.
“Ramdam ng DOTr ang hirap na pinagdaraanan ng mga commuter sa araw araw na sitwasyon sa kalsada. Habang patuloy kaming gumagawa ng mga pamamaraan para kayo’y guminhawa, makakaasa kayo na hindi kailanman namin isasaalang-alang ang inyong kaligtasan,” theLTFRB said in a statement on Friday.
(The DOTr understand the difficulty faced by commuters everyday. As we continue to explore ways to bring relief to the riding public, you can expect that we will always consider your safety.)
“Bukas ang DOTr at LTFRB na makipag-dayalogo sa mga stakeholder upang mapag-usapan ang mga suhestyon na maaaring mailatag sa kongreso upang ma-amyendahan ang batas,” they added.
(The DOTr and the LTFRB are open to dialogue with stakeholders so we can discuss suggestions that we can bring to Congress.)
Maglungsod hopes that government officials and politicians would acknowledge their efforts to bring a more efficient and safer form of transportation to the public. He also pleaded for Angkas riders who have no other means of livelihood.
“Mas gusto ba nating makita ang mga mananakay na sumusugal sa isang uri ng transportasyon na hindi sila identified kagaya ng mga habal-habal o online bookings (Do we want riders to patronize other forms of transportation such as the habal-habal or online bookings)?” Maglungsod asked.
He also gave assurances that passengers are safe in riding motorcycles and that they are committed to the public good. /ee
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