Angkas can now field 20,000 riders based on redistribution of rider cap—TWG
MANILA, Philippines – Bike-for-hire app Angkas can now field 20,000 riders after the Department of Transportation (DOTr) technical working group (TWG) redistributed the new rider cap based on a company’s capacity.
TWG chair Antonio Gardiola Jr. said on Wednesday that Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade told the motorcycle companies that the new 15,000 rider is flexible — meaning that if a certain company cannot deploy 15,000 rider slots, then some of the slots may be allocated to another motorcycle taxi app.
Gardiola relayed that Tugade himself asked newcomer app MoveIt if it can fill up the new 15,000 cap, which MoveIt’s management admitted that it is not possible as of this time — hence the move to increase give Angkas 5,000 more riders to increase their share to 20,000.
This was agreed upon by MoveIt and another motorcycle taxi app JoyRide.
“As what the Secretary explained to Angkas, it will not be limited, because in the implementing rules and regulations, nakasaad po doon na (it was stated that) there is a redistribution provision,” Gardiola told reporters in an ambush interview after the House committee on transportation’s hearing.
“Ang ibig sabihin po […] kung hindi kaya ng isang player to come up with that number of riders, eh ibibigay po ‘yon sa company na ready and has that number of riders, which is by now, we can say it’s Angkas,” he added.
(What this means is that if a player cannot come up with that number of riders, then we will give some to a company that is ready and has that number of riders, which is by now, we can say it’s Angkas.)
The TWG recently allowed a 15,000 rider cap for the three companies, meaning that 45,000 motorcycle taxis may roam Metro Manila — for a total of 63,000 riders including those in Metro Cebu and Cagayan de Oro.
Angkas initially filed a preliminary injunction against LTFRB and the TWG before a Quezon City court, after the TWG ordered a rider cap of just 10,000 riders — way below their current fleet of 17,000.
They also called on the court to stop the inclusion of MoveIt and JoyRide in the pilot testing that would run until March 2020.
Earlier, House transportation committee chair and Samar 1st District Rep. Edgar Mary Sarmiento said that Angkas is withdrawing its cases against LTFRB after the rider limit was raised to 45,000 in Metro Manila, and 63,000 if including similar tests in Metro Cebu and Cagayan de Oro.
Last Monday, reports surfaced that the TWG was keen on ending the pilot test, amid Angkas seeking a temporary restraining order — which is supposedly a violation of the guidelines.
However, Gardiola eventually said that the pilot run would continue, allaying fears of more transportation woes in the heavy traffic-ridden streets of Metro Manila. During the interview, he noted that the public sentiment was a major factor in reconsidering their moves.
“Because of the concerns, the sentiments, we are considering all sentiments, ‘yong recommendations, that’s why we came up with this study,” he said.
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