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Commuters fume over LTFRB’s deadline imposed on bike-for-hire services

/ 10:41 PM December 28, 2019

EDSA PROTEST In a “#SaveAngkasUnityGathering,” thousands of Angkas drivers protest along White Plains Avenue up to the Edsa Kalayaaan Shrine, Quezon City. NIÑO JESUS ORBETA

MANILA, Philippines – Filipinos patronizing the use of motorcycle taxis have slammed the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) for its decision not to extend the pilot period of bike-for-hire services after March 2020.

People on social media on Saturday decried this move from LTFRB, claiming it would only place more Filipinos in poverty because most riders consider motorcycle ride-hailing apps and delivery services as a main source of income.

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“The gift of this government to riders of this helpful mode of transportation… unemployment.  Why not just limit the numbers and conduct safety riding instead?” said a Facebook user after news came out that the technical working group (TWG), which assesses the bikes-for-hire’s viability, is firm in not allowing another pilot period.

Another social media user said that Angkas — one of the bikes-for-hire apps that will be affected by the deadline — the government does not realize that such services have alleviated the struggles of commuters traveling from work to home and vice versa.

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Some also warned that the measure might only force current Angkas riders to revert to uncoordinated and unauthorized “habal-habal” operations.

“Nakakadismaya mga taong galit sa Angkas at tuwang-tuwa pa ata mawala ang Angkas.  Para sa kaalaman nyo nakakatulong yan sa mga tao,” another social media user noted.

(It is disheartening to hear that some are mad at Angkas and that some would want it dissolved.  Just so you know, this helps a lot of people.)

“Drivers will go back to being unregistered motorcycle drivers again… you cannot force them to stop if that is their only source of income,” a separate commenter added.

TWG chairman Antonio Gardiola Jr. said no more motorcycle riders will be allowed to transport passengers once the pilot program for motorcycle taxis conclude on March 23, 2020. https://inq.news/angkaspilotrun

Posted by INQUIRER.net on Thursday, December 26, 2019

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Motoring journalist James Deakin also chimed in on the issue, saying that the coming months would not be so happy as delivery services, or those who act as food or package couriers may also be affected by the deadline.

“Merry Christmas, folks. And a not so happy new year. Oh, and by the way, if held to the letter of the law, this means deliveries too. The law clearly says it is forbidden to transport freight or passengers for pay. Good luck with that,” Deakin said in a separate Facebook post.

Merry Christmas, folks. And a not so happy new year. Oh, and by the way, if held to the letter of the law, this means…

Posted by James Deakin on Friday, December 27, 2019

On Thursday, TWG chair and LTFRB member Antonio Gardiola said that they would craft a conclusive study after March, but while they are conducting the study, bikes-for-hires would not be allowed.

He insisted that the primary reason why the motorcycle apps were allowed was because of the study that the TWG would create.

“That they are running now on the road is because of the study. That’s what they can’t understand. When we have already submitted our recommendations to Congress, the study is terminated,“ Gardiola said.

But if there are naysayers, some Filipinos were happy with LTFRB’s decision, claiming that riding through motorcycles are not only dangerous, but also cause nuisance along the roads.

“Better scrap it, it’s dangerous and subject to abuse as it being used to commit a crime like those riding in tandem,” another Facebook user said.

“Buti naman.  Hindi naman solusyon sa trapik ‘yan, katunayan mas nag papalala pa nga sila sa trapik dahil singit nang singit,” they added.

(That is good.  Bikes-for-hire are not the solution to heavy traffic flow, it actually worsens traffic conditions because they cut and swerve through the lanes.)

Edited by JPV
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TAGS: Angkas, Antonio Gardiola, Bikes for Hire, James Deakin, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, LTFRB, Philippine news updates, Social Media, technical working group
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