Displaced Angkas bikers may return to unregulated ‘habal-habal’
MANILA, Philippines – Will the 17,000 displaced Angkas bikers be absorbed into the two newly-introduced motorcycle taxi companies, as the government said? At a protest and subsequent press conference held on Sunday, December 22, Angkas bikers said no.
At the press conference, Solid Manila Riders Club chairman and Angkas biker Romeo Maglunsod predicted that the displaced bikers would return to their unauthorized habal-habal work. (READ: Thousands of bikers, supporters demand 'save Angkas')
“‘Yun 'yung reality eh. Doon kami galing eh, doon kami galing sa ilegal. So nung nakakita kami ng kompanya na magmamalasakit sa amin, na magmamahal sa amin, at ituturing kaming mga ka-partner, aalis ka ba roon sa ganoong kompanya?” he asked.
(That’s the reality. That’s where we came from, we came from doing illegal work. So when we found a company that showed concern for us, that loved us, that considered us partners, did you expect us to leave that kind of company?)
In an appeal to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Friday, December 20, Angkas expressed its concern that the lower cap assigned to the company – which would force it to part with 17,000 bikers it had trained – would cause passengers to also turn to habal-habal, or the unregulated motorcycle taxis. Angkas data show that demand for rides would outstrip supply.
In the motorcycle taxi services' 6-month pilot run, which ends December 26, Angkas, being the pioneer, was the only participating company. It was allowed to have up to 27,000 bikers.
When the LTFRB's technical working group decided to extend the test run for 3 more months, it set a cap of 39,000 slots for bikers in Metro Manila and Metro Cebu, but split evenly among Angkas and two more companies: JoyRide and Move It.
With only 13,000 slots for Angkas, it will have to let go of some 17,000 previously trained and accredited bikers.
At the protest rally Sunday morning, Angkas Pabebe Warriors' Claire Lastimosa said she wouldn't join the two other companies.
"Bakit kami sasali sa ibang apps ng ride-hailing nang itong Angkas ay subok na? Kami ang nauna, bakit iba ang aani? Hindi kami papayag niyan," she said. (Why would we join other ride-hailing apps when Angkas has been tried and tested? We were first. Why should someone else reap the benefits? We won't allow that.)
Angkas Pabebe Warriors is a group of Angkas female bikers. Lastimosa said she is one of many single mothers who are part of the group who enjoy the flexible work hours that Angkas allows them.
Angkas appealed the new provisions set by the government’s technical working group on the extended motorcycle taxi pilot run on Friday, December 20. (READ: Thousands of bikers, supporters demand 'save Angkas')
Aside from raising safety concerns for passengers if they hail untrained motorcycle drivers, Angkas said the TWG ignored their recommendations regarding dedicated emergency response teams, partner hospitals, and insurance providers. – Rappler.com