The Highway Patrol Group (HPG) has expressed its support for the government-sanctioned pilot run of app-based motorcycle taxi service, Angkas.
In a press briefing held earlier today, HPG chief superintendent, Roberto Fajardo said that the HPG’s mandate is to ensure the safety of the metro’s highways for the benefit of commuters and motorists alike and part of that mandate is to help ensure the smooth and safe flow of traffic in our streets.
“We support Angkas, as well as all the transport operators legally franchised by the LTFRB, because it is a service that helps the commuters in safely going to and from their destinations,” Fajardo declared. “The HPG and Angkas have the same objective and therefore we need to support each other,” he added.
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) recently gave the green light to implement the pilot run of Angkas in Metro Manila and Metro Cebu for six months starting this June. Prior to this, the DOTr organized a Technical Working Group (TWG) to discuss and conduct studies of Angkas’ operations, particularly, its safety training program for their motorcycle rider-partners.
Fajardo also said that Angkas bikers have also been participating in the HPG’s own Motorcycle Riders Safety training program. “In their own little way, and in line with Angkas’ social responsibility, they send their own riders to join our safety training,” Fajardo noted.
He also commended Angkas’ own safety training program. “Maganda nga ang may training dahil magiging katuwang natin sila, magiging example of a disciplined motorcycle rider (it's good to have training because they will support our cause and serve as examples of disciplined riders),” Fajardo stressed.
Besides the motorcycle training, Angkas partner-riders are required to have a professional driver's license, NBI and barangay clearance. Angkas keeps a record of the name of the partner-rider and registered motorbike for every booking. Finally, Angkas partner-riders and passengers are insured up to PhP 450,000 for death and dismemberment and up to PhP 100,000 for medical reimbursements.
Angkas founder and CEO Angeline Tham talked about their partnership with HPG, saying, “HPG is out every day protecting our streets and since safety is also paramount to Angkas, we join them in their effort to make the street safer for the general public.”
The press briefing coincided with the turnover of Angkas’ donation of 50 brand-new, high-quality helmets to the HPG, which was held at the HPG office in Camp Crame, Quezon City. According to Angkas Regulatory and Public Affairs head, George Royeca, the donation is part of their safety advocacy.
“We have always been vocal about our advocacy for the safety of both the bikers and the passengers. Our donation to the HPG is in line with that advocacy, and which we hope will, in some way, contribute to the safety of our friends from the HPG as they patrol our highways and make them safe,” Royeca said. “This is just the start of a partnership with HPG which we hope will expand to cover other areas that promote and improve road safety,” he added.
Gen. Fajardo also described the HPG’s partnership with Angkas as a joint effort to work for the benefit of the commuters and the motorists. “We work hand in hand for the safety, security and discipline of the motorists,” Fajardo said.
The donated helmets will be part of the HPG riders’ new uniform and will be the perfect tandem for the new BMW motorcycles that the HPG riders will soon be driving.