Riders warn of going back to ‘habal-habal’ amid LTFRB’s 10,000 bikers limit
MANILA, Philippines — Biker-partners of ride-hailing firm Angkas at risk of getting laid off due to a new government policy during the extended pilot run of motorcycle taxis may just have to return to being colorum riders or “habal-habal”.
Riders and advocates issued this warning Sunday, as they held a demonstration against the cap imposed by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on the number of motorcycles that can participate in the three-month extension of the Motorcycle Taxi Pilot Implementation.
“Kung sakaling tanggalin kami, babalik kami sa dati. Galing kami sa mga habal-habal, galing sa pagsasakay nang ilegal,” Romeo Maglunsod, an Angkas biker-partner, said in a press conference in Quezon City.
(Should we get laid off under the pilot run, we will go back to our old practice. We came from habal-habal, we came from riding illegally.)
“So hindi naman kami aalisan ng hanapbuhay. Parang mag-uunderground lang kami,” he added.
(So they will not essentially take our livelihood from us. We will just go underground.)
The extended pilot run will start on Monday, December 23, which means that 17,000 of the total 27,000 riders of Angkas would be rendered jobless from this point since LTRFB imposed a limit of 10,000 bikers per transport network company (TNC) for Metro Manila and 3,000 bikers per TNC for Metro Cebu. Two new motorcycle taxi service providers will join Angkas during the prolonged pilot run in the National Capital Region.
The extended Motorcycle Taxi Pilot Implementation will on March 23, 2020.
Lawyers for Commuters Safety and Protection President Ariel Inton said the recent move of the government to impose a cap on the number of bikers will “result in chaos in the streets” as riders may opt for illegal activities.
“Nasa legal na sila and you’re turning them back in the end in doing something illegal just because of setting a cap without any study,” he said in the same press conference.
Sunday’s #SaveAngkas Unity Gathering was held at the Kalayaan Shrine along Edsa.
Senator Imee Marcos attended the rally and urged authorities to stop the pilot testing “in the spirit of Christmas” and instead come out with the decision on whether or not to recognize motorcycle taxi as a public utility vehicle (PUV).
Marcos earlier filed Senate Bill No. 409, seeking to legitimize and regulate motorcycles for hire as PUVs.
“Matatapos na itong pilot testing, hanggang ngayon hindi pa sila nagdedesisyon. Sa diwa ng Pasko, nananawagan ako sa ating mga awtoridad na tigilan na itong mga pilot testing na kunyari mas safe pero hindi naman safe,” she told reporters in an interview in the sidelines of the event.
(The pilot testing was supposed to end soon but until now authorities have not yet decided on the legitimacy of motorcycles as PUVs. In the spirit of Christmas, I am calling on authorities to stop this pilot testing that pretends to be safer but it’s not.)
“Kinukuhanan ang labing-pitong libong riders ng kanilang hanapbuhay at higit sa lahat, nawawalan ng trabaho at ‘yun pa, napipinsala pa at naha-hassle pa ang sangkatutak na Christmas shoppers at ang publiko,” she added.
(This takes away the jobs of 17,000 riders and it causes hassle to the public, especially to Christmas shoppers.)
The original pilot run was for six months, starting in June and supposedly lasting until December 26.
Edited by KGA
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