By Vanne Terrazola
What does the government plan to do with the 17,000 Angkas bikers who would lose jobs while it moves to regulate motorcycle taxi operations?
This was one of the questions posed by Senator Grace Poe Saturday as she sought clarification from the Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) interagency technical working group (TWG) on how it came up with figures in relation to its plan to regulate motorcycle-hailing operations in the country.
In extending for another six months the pilot run of motorcycles as a mode of public transport, the TWG decided to cut by more than half the number of Angkas bikers that will be allowed to transport commuters, from 27,000 to 10,000.
This was to make room for the two other motorcyle-hailing providers — JoyRide and Move It — who would also participate in the motorcycle taxi pilot implementation. The body set a cap of 39,000 registered bikers to join the metro-wide pilot run.
Angkas, on Saturday, slammed the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) for trimming down the number of its bikers that will be allowed for the extended pilot run. The LTFRB leads the TWG.
Poe, chair of the Senate Commiittee on Public Services, said she welcomed the TWG’s decision to extend the pilot run of motorcycle taxis, as it a “recognition of motorcycles as a viable transportation option in the city.”
“Gayon pa man, nais nating malaman ang mga pamantayan at parametro na ginamit ng TWG sa kanilang pagpapasya. Ano ang batayan ng 30,000 bikers cap para sa Metro Manila at 9,000 para sa Cebu, na hahatiin nang pantay-pantay sa tatlong operator?” the senator asked in her statement.
(However, we want to know that guidelines and parameters that the TWG used in coming up with its decision. What was its basis for the 30,000 bikers cap for Metro Manila and the 9,000 cap for Cebu, which will be divided equally among the three operators?)
“Paano ang kasalukuyan nang bikers na lagpas sa alokasyon ng kanilang kumpanya? Higit sa lahat, ito ba ang tamang oras para sa implementasyon nito kung kailan magpa-Pasko at pahirapan ang pagbu-book ng sasakyan ang mga pasahero? Ano ang gagawin natin sa diumano’y 17,000 bikers na mawawalan ng akreditasyon?) she added, referring to Angkas.
(How about the current bikers who exceeded the allocation for their company? Most of all, is this the right time to implement such a cap when it is Christmas season and passengers are having difficulties booking vehicles? What will we do with the 17,000 bikers who will supposedly lose their accreditations?)
Poe said she supports the administration in finding solutions to the country’s problems with traffic and transportation.
“Pero kailangan natin ng malinaw at bukas na proseso sa pagpapasya, lalo pa’t kaligtasan ng ating mga mananakay at kabuhayan ng ating mga driver at ng kanilang mga pamilya ang nakataya (But we need a clear and open process of decision-making, especially the safety of our commuters and the livelihood of drivers and their families are at stake),” she noted.