4 transport coops oppose Angkas return to Cagayan de Oro
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Four transport groups are determined to block the entry of app-based transport network vehicle system Angkas into this city, fearing the motorcycle taxi will drive them out of business.
Angkas is being pilot-tested here and 2 other key urban areas in the country as part of the nationwide study of the Department of Transportation (DoTR) to determine the viability of including motorcycles as a public transport.
Opposing the Angkas operation here are 4 transport cooperatives which are now in the compliance stage of the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP).
The following have filed petitions with the city council seeking to block Angkas: P.N. Roa Canitoan Transport Cooperative, Oro Transport Service Cooperative (Orotsco), Bukidnon Transport Cooperative and the Taxi Operators Federations.
City councilor Teodulfo Lao, chairman of the committee on public utilities said he supported for the petitioners.
Luzminda Lalaine Escobidal, manager of the P.N. Roa Canitoan Transport Cooperative, said they were threatened by the arrival of Angkas.
She said their group has a pending P100 million loan from the Development Bank of the Philippines which is intended to purchase 40 modern vehicles that would ply at least 5 routes.
Orotsco, for its part, said it was already servicing the city roads with the initial investment of P32 million for 15 minibuses.
All their vehicle purchases complied with the government's PUVMP requirements.
"How much is our monthly (payment) for that (loan)? We have to pay the driver, passenger assistance officer, their social benefits, we are paying too many expenses for the PUVMP," Escobidal said.
Escobidal said that they feared their night operations would be affected by entry of Angkas.
"We were required to operate 24 hours a day, Now, our night operations will be greatly affected because the sector we serve at night – the call centers, night shift jobs and others – will be siphoned off by Angkas because we have an interval time dispatch," Escobidal said.
Serving a different market
Angkas' Chief Executive Officer Angeline Tham visited this city Thursday, February 20, to personally oversee that preparation for start of Angkas operations here.
Tham said that Angkas will not disrupt the current transportation set-up here as habal-habal or motorcycle taxi originated here in Mindanao.
"I'm here to touch base with the regional director to make sure that we are compliant and we are checking our bikers and I'm happy to say that they are compliant and registered with the office here and we are happy to join this study," Tham said.
Tham said that they were serving a different market. "There are already habal-habal here, I don't think that we are doing any different here and I believe that we serve a different market-people who pick a taxi, the price point is also different, so we are just providing alternative means of transportation," Tham said.
Meanwhile the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) regional director here Aminoden Guro said that the technical working group has allocated 3,000 motorcycle units for this city as part of the study. Angkas, JoyRide, and MoveIt each have 1,000 slots for a city with a day population of at least a million people.
However, Guro said that it was only Angkas which has a presence here, but JoyRide already sent its letter of intent to operate in the city.
Guro added that the only remaining requirement for Angkas to return to roads of this city is for the final inspection of its motorcycle of Angkas. "If the names, motorcycles, plate numbers matched what Angkas submitted to the LTFRB," Guro said.
Angkas' inspection is set Thursday. Once completed Angkas may ht the roads again.
Guro said that that it was up to the DOTr's TWG to address the problem of the blocking Angkas. – Rappler.com