Makati shuts Angkas office; 19 app-using drivers held
The Makati City government closed down an office of motorcycle ride-hailing network Angkas on Thursday, the same day a transport official posed as a passenger to lead a crackdown on drivers using the Angkas app.
The Makati Business Permit and License Office issued an order of desistance to Angkas Training Center at Natividad Building on Chino Roces Avenue Extension, Barangay Magallanes.
An inspection conducted by local government officials and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) member Aileen Lizada found that the Angkas office had been operating without a business permit, in violation of the Makati Revenue Code.
“You are hereby commanded to cease and desist from further operating your business establishment until such compliance with the said ordinance is made,” the order read.
Jun Salgado, the city information officer, said the LTFRB earlier asked the office of Mayor Abby Binay “to provide assistance in apprehending the establishment, which was reportedly involved in a number of traffic accidents.”
On July 15, 23-year-old Alejandro Cajano was critically injured after an Angkas motorcycle he was riding crashed on Nagtahan Bridge in Manila. Cajano was then hit by a sport utility vehicle while still down on the ground and has since been in a coma.
Prior to Thursday’s inspection, Lizada and other LTFRB personnel went undercover and booked rides using the Angkas app in Makati and neighboring Taguig City.
Nineteen Angkas drivers hired during the entrapment were arrested by teams from the Land Transportation Office and Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group upon reaching their destinations.
Lizada said Angkas had no insurance coverage approved by the LTFRB, making its motorbikes colorum (illegal).
Angkas is registered in the Securities and Exchange Commission under the name Dbdoyc Inc. and as a “software application provider, [that] matches users [with] third-party service providers like passengers and bikers.”
In January, LTFRB said Angkas was considered a transport network company (TNC) similar to Uber and Grab, but that it had not been coordinating with the agency and therefore could not operate.
In a statement issued on Thursday night, Angkas said it would ask Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade to consider amending Department Order No. 2015-11, “to allow two-wheeled vehicles under the Transport Network Vehicle Services (TNVS category).”
“Doing so will firmly put Angkas and all motorcycle-taxis officially under the jurisdiction of LTFRB,” it added. The order sets the classification standards of public conveyances, such as TNVS.
The company expressed “regret (that) we were not able to welcome and dialogue” with Lizada during the office inspection, but that it was looking forward to discussing LTFRB’s concerns.
“On behalf of its bikers, Angkas has always been open to regulation. We believe that the motorcycle taxi industry needs proper regulation to raise its standards of safety and quality,” it added.
Angkas noted that it had been providing free customer service training, safety gear and personal accident insurance for both passengers and drivers, services similar to those of TNVS.
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