Angkas to drop case vs TWG, LTFRB as pilot test continues, rider cap increases
MANILA, Philippines – Motorcycle transport provider Angkas has agreed to drop its court case against the technical working group (TWG) of the Department of Transportation and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) after the rider cap for each motorbike transport network company in Metro Manila was increased from 10,000 to 15,000, a lawmaker said on Wednesday.
With the increase in rider cap, each of the current motorcycle transport network companies (TNC) – Angkas, JoyRide and Move It – will now have 15,000 riders in Metro Manila, 3,o00 riders in Metro Cebu and 3,000 in Cagayan de Oro. In Metro Manila, the three TNCs will have a combined total cap of 45,000 riders.
According to House transportation committee chair and Samar 1st District Rep. Edgar Mary Sarmiento, it was also discussed during the executive session between committee members and stakeholders that the motorcycle taxi pilot run has been extended up to March.
“Hanggang March, pagkatapos ‘yong cap inalis na po, up to 45,000 na, kasama na ang Cagayan de Oro, at saka wala na munang hulihan. Ito pong nangyari siguradong-sigurado tayo na napag-usapan pati ang executive,” Sarmiento said in an ambush interview.
(The pilot test would run until March, and then the initial cap was removed and set at 45,000 including riders at Cagayan de Oro, and riders would no longer be apprehended. This is what was discussed with the executive.)
“Intindihin natin ‘yong bawat parte, may issue ang Angkas, ngayon binigay kung anong gusto nila, siguro naman nararapat na bigyan naman natin ng lunas, i-drop na natin ang kaso. Willing na po sila, tapos na po, it was agreed,” he added.
(We should understand all sides. Angkas has an issue, now that we have given what they want, it might be proper for them to solve, and drop the case. They are willing to do that, it was agreed upon.)
Angkas filed a preliminary injunction before a Quezon City Regional Trial Court against the TWG’s move to include competitors JoyRide and Move It in the pilot testing period of motorcycle taxis initially scheduled to end by March 2020.
They also included in their petition a call to remove the cap set on the number of riders allowed to participate in the pilot run after the TWG slashed the number of Angkas riders from 17,000 to just 10,000.
Earlier this week, the TWG announced the termination of the pilot run citing the alleged guideline violations committed by Angkas, as well as the court cases the TNC had lodged, which according to the TWG, hindered it from conducting an accurate assessment of the study.
Later however TWG chair Antonio Gardiola Jr. announced that the pilot run will continue.
The committee was holding a session on Wednesday morning but had to cut it short for lawmakers to catch up to the plenary session that would be held in Batangas City. But before it was ended, Sarmiento called for an executive session between DOTr officials and the stakeholders, including Angkas.
Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate, a member of the transportation committee for the minority, said the increase in the rider cap is a welcome development for commuters and people who rely on motorcycle taxis for their income.
“This is a good development for commuters, as well as to the thousands of drivers whose livelihood now depends on this alternative mode of public transport,” Zarate said.
“Motor taxi operation is now becoming a must in the absence of an efficient, affordable and state-controlled mass transportation that government should now seriously address,” he added.
Edited by MUF
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.