Ride-hailing service provider Angkas said Thursday it expects to resume operations soon, as the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases plans to endorse to Congress the extension of pilot testing for motorcycle taxis in Metro Manila and other areas.
Angkas chief transport advocate George Royeca said in a virtual press briefing he is hopeful that they would secure the green light from the government for the extension of pilot testing for motorcycle taxis.
Royeca said transportation is essential to the reopening of the economy as only 40 percent of public transport is available to meet the needs of 60 percent of the workforce who are now required to return to onsite locations.
“Safety has always been the advocacy of Angkas as we push for inclusive transportation that is accessible to all. We continue to commit to this advocacy especially now that we are in a crisis and the people need it more than ever,” Royeca said.
He said this is also an opportunity for the more than 20,000 Angkas riders to resume their livelihood.
IATF-EID chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said in the virtual conference he would ask the Congress to extend the trial of the motorcycle taxis.
“Recently Interior Secretary Eduardo Ano, Secretary [Harry] Roque and myself met with the President to allow a one-seat apart measurement in our mass transport system to increase our capacity. Part of our plan is to increase the number of vehicles especially ride-hailing motorcycle taxis which can increase capacity to provide services to more than 400,000 workers,” he said.
Galvez said they proposed the recommendation of Royeca to President Rodrigo Duterte in light of the mayors’ feedback on how Angkas had helped transport their healthcare workers during the pandemic. There was not a single incident of virus transmission during these trips, he said.
Angkas was in the last leg of the pilot service run when it had to halt its operations because of the pandemic, taking into consideration the strict safety protocols mandated by the government and health authorities on public transportation.
The pilot run for the motorcycle taxis expired on March 23 this year.
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board earlier allowed Angkas, Joyride and Move It to participate in the pilot test for motorcycle taxis in Metro Manila, Cebu and Cagayan de Oro.
The government imposed a cap of 63,000 bikers for the three players–45,000 bikers in Metro Manila, 9,000 in Cebu and 9,000 in Cagayan de Oro.
Angkas has 23,164 bikers in Metro Manila, 4,500 in Metro Cebu and 925 in Cagayan De Oro, while Joyride has 15,000 in Metro Manila, 4,488 in Metro Cebu and 198 in Cagayan de Oro.
Move It has 6,836 bikers in Metro Manila.