Want to ride Angkas? Buy your own helmet
MANILA, Philippines — Those anticipating the return of motorcycle taxis may need to shop for their own helmet after one of the country’s top motorcycle-hailing apps encouraged its riders to invest in protective equipment as these would no longer be provided by bikers during trips.
Following the national government’s decision to allow the resumption of operations of motorcycle taxis, Angkas told riders they could purchase full-face, quarter-face, modular and dual sport helmets through its partner stores at P760 to P2,636 each, depending on the type and brand.
According to Angkas, helmets may also be purchased with a discount through its product delivery service Angkas Pabili.
It cautioned the public, however, against purchasing motocross, half-face and bike helmets that have no visors, as well as those with no regulatory stickers and straps and locks.
This is an added protective measure against the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19), which prompted the government earlier this year to ban pillion riders on motorcycles except those transporting health workers.
This has severely affected Angkas’ pool of 30,000 bikers, who were forced to shift gears and instead solely provide delivery services through Angkas Pabili and Angkas Padala.
Robert, an owner of a helmet shop in Pasig City, said that despite this new pronouncement, he had not increased the prices of his helmets, which are sold at P4,000 to P9,000.
“We did not implement any price adjustment. But we did notice that there was an increase in demand compared with the time when we were still under [enhanced community quarantine], since more people were not allowed to go out then,” he said in an interview.
In a recent statement, Angkas welcomed the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases’ (IATF) decision that would allow the resumption of the motorcycle taxi pilot program, saying transportation was the “core” of the reopening of the economy.
“It has always been the advocacy of Angkas to provide inclusive transportation safely to the public, especially at this time of pandemic when 60 percent of the workforce need to go back to work and only 40 percent of public transport is available,” said George Royeca, Angkas chief transport advocate.
To ensure that the virus is not transmitted between the driver and the passenger, Angkas would require the use of plastic shields that would serve as barriers, which has been approved by the IATF.
It would also embed a contact tracing capability in the Angkas software that would help detect the location of infected people if needed, while encouraging passengers to inform drivers if they have contracted COVID-19.
The pilot study, which was conducted to measure the viability of using motorcycle taxis as public transport vehicles, ended in April. INQ
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