Angkas gets boost


House panel calls for nationwide pilot run for motorcycle taxi service.

LAWMAKERS yesterday came out with a resolution directing the Department of Transportation (DoTr) to undertake a nationwide pilot test for Angkas.

During the public hearing conducted by the House Committee on Metro Manila Development chaired by Quezon City Rep. Winston Castelo, Manila Rep. Cristal Bagatsing offered Manila to be the pilot area so that those drivers of Angkas will continue to have a source of living.

“Sa amin pong distrito sa Maynila ay maraming Angkas drivers na nawalan ng trabaho nang maglabas ng TRO ang Supreme Court,”  Bagatsing said.

“Dumaing din po sila sa akin. Ipinaliwanag nila na bumuti na ang lagay ng kanilang kabuhayan dahil sa Angkas tapos kung kailan magpa-Pasko tsaka sila na-TRO,” she added.

However, Buhay party-list Rep. Lito Atienza said other key cities like Metro Cebu should be included in the pilot run.

The members of the committee agreed and asked the DoTr, having the power to do so, to come up with the implementing guidelines in two weeks.

On hand during the hearing were Angkas Operations head David Medrana and Regulatory and Public Affairs head George Royeca, Department of Transportation (DoTr) Undersecretary Mark de Leon, Rep. Cristal Bagatsing, Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr., Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña, Highway Patrol Group (HPG) spokesperson P/Supt. Oliver Tanseco, and former LTFRB board member Atty. Ariel Inton.

“Now that we have established that Angkas is safe, fast, and affordable, and is relied upon by thousands of Filipino commuters, the Committee now comes up with a resolution urging the DOTr to immediately allow Angkas a pilot run nationwide as the DOTr drafts the implementing guidelines for the operation and regulation of Angkas,” Rep. Castelo said.

Negros Oriental Rep. Arnulfo Teves agreed with Bagatsing saying the government should give Angkas drivers the chance.

“Habang pinapag-aralan, payagan muna natin,” he said.

According to DOTr Undersecretary Mark de Leon, the agency will be creating a Technical Working Group for this purpose. The TWG will discuss the regulatory requirements for motorcycle taxis.

Angkas’ George Royeca, in turn, praised the DOTr for coming up with the TWG and its willingness to immediately work on the implementing guidelines for the operation and regulation of Angkas. He also stressed that they are happy to be able to provide a means of livelihood to their rider-partners, while stating how much their riders earn on the average.

“Sa isang full day na pasada po ay kumikita sila ng average na P1,500 at mga part-timers naman po, mga P800 average kada araw,” Royeca stated.

Angkas had a good safety record since the time the Mandaluyong RTC allowed Angkas to operate until the issuance of the SC TRO, Highway Patrol Group spokesperson P/Supt. Oliver Tanseco said.

”Our records reflect that there had been no accidents involving Angkas, thus posing no danger to the riding public,” Tanseco said .

Cebu Mayor Tommy Osmeña, a staunch supporter of Angkas’ service, described how Angkas was a great help to the people of Cebu, particularly those who needed to go to far-flung areas not easily accessible by four-wheeled vehicles.