The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board’s (LTFRB) pilot run for motorcycle taxis has been extended. These are based on the findings of a meeting between the inter-agency Technical Working Group (TWG) on Motorcycle (MC) Taxis with the shortlisted providers.
Pursuant to the mandate of the TWG, after careful evaluation, inspection, and validation of the overall operational readiness of the applicants, an additional two providers — JoyRide and Move It — were chosen to partake in the extension of the MC Taxi Pilot Implementation along with current provider, Angkas.
The three motorcycle Transport Network Companies (TNC) will participate in the Extended Pilot Implementation starting December 23, 2019 up to March 23, 2020. The extended implementation has placed an overall allotted cap of 39,000 registered bikers, equating to 10,000 bikes per TNC for Metro Manila and 3,000 per TNC in Metro Cebu.
Prior to the termination of the Pilot Implementation on 26 December 2019, six companies eyed to also provide MC Taxi services and have submitted and presented their proposals to the TWG. Upon initial qualification, four (4) companies were considered, evaluated, and inspected in terms of company profile, operational plans, facilities and equipment as basis for their compliance.
Present in the meeting were TWG Chairman and LTFRB Board Member Retired P/Maj. Gen. Antonio B. Gardiola Jr., Co-Chairman Asec. Edgar Galvante of LTO, Vice-Chairman and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Board Member Engr. Ronaldo F. Corpus, Co-Vice Chairman Atty. Clarence V. Guinto of LTO, Asec. Mark Steven Pastor of DOTr-Legal, Mr. Danilo P. Encela of LTO, and Mr. Joel Bolano of the LTFRB Technical Division. LTFRB Chairman Atty. Martin B. Delgra III and Atty. Ariel Inton of Lawyers for Commuters Safety and Protection also attended the event.
Angkas to share allotment
Because of the new allotment cap applied to each TNC, Angkas’s former total allotment of 27,000 motorcycles (Metro Manila and Metro Cebu) now has been reduced to 13,000 total. The pioneer motorcycle taxi service has since issued a statement from its Chief Transport Advocate, George Royeca, that up to "17,000" Angkas riders could “lose their jobs come next year” as a result of the new allotment cap. Angkas shared that many of these have been with Angkas since the beginning of their operations in 2017.
Retired P/Maj. Gen. Antonio B. Gardiola Jr., Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) board members and concurrent TWG for MC taxis chairman said that, contrary to what Angkas is claiming, commuters should expect an increase in the number of motorcycle taxi riders in the streets as more riders will be taking part in the study to be conducted.
According to Gardiola, there are now 39,000 MC taxi riders who are joining the safety study from the original 27,000 Angkas riders. Gardiola said the number of motorcycle taxi riders participating in the study saw an increase with the inclusion of riders from two other MC taxi providers, Move-it and Joy Ride.
The TWG noted that the inclusion of riders from Move-it and Joy Ride will ensure that the data gathered from the study will not be “monopolized” by just one TNC, i.e. Angkas. In addition, the TWG said, by allowing Move-it and Joy Ride to participate in the study, commuters will be given more options in choosing their ride-hailing provider.
Meanwhile, Gen. Gardiola stressed that the study to be conducted will look into the safety aspect of using motorcycles as a mode of public transportation, and is not bent on depriving motorcycle taxi riders of their livelihood as is being alleged by Angkas.
The TWG is also appealing to Angkas not to muddle the issue before the public through the use of social media.
Who gets to stay?
The TWG, however, has not outlined or suggested any method for Angkas to select which of the 27,000 riders to keep onboard for the allotted 10,000 in Manila and 3,000 for Cebu for the pilot implementation extension. The difficult task of culling its riders has been left solely to Angkas. In the same statement, Angkas has expressed its desire to keep all 27,000 riders, stating that losing them would "be a compromise to the quality of service you can expect and a direct blow to over 17,000 Filipino families."
These Angkas riders are welcome to apply with the two new players, however, many have expressed their preference to stay with Angkas.
In protest of the reduced allotment, Angkas has organized a unity ride this morning, gathering thousands of riders at the EDSA Kalayaan Shrine along White Plains cor. EDSA.