It's a sad day for Angkas and other motorcycle taxi service providers.
According to the inter-agency technical working group (TWG) who is studying the feasibility of two-wheel vehicles as public transport, bike-hailing services like Angkas will no longer be able to operate after March 23, 2020.
The TWG, the creation of which was ordered by Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade, is made up of representatives from the DOTr, the Land Transportation Office (LTO), the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), the Philippine National Police – Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG), the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the Senate, the House of Representatives, commuter welfare groups, road safety advocates, motorcycle manufacturers, motorcycle organizations, as well as law schools.
TWG Chairman and LTFRB member Antonio Gardiola Jr. told members of the press that they will only extend the pilot again from December 23, 2019, to March 23, 2019, after which they will make a conclusive study with the data collected.
"That they are running now on the road is because of the study," Gardiola said. "That’s what they can’t understand. When we have already submitted our recommendations to Congress, the study is terminated."
Back in June 2019, Angkas was given by the DOTr a six-month pilot run in Metro Manila and in Metro Cebu, after general rules on the implementation were approved and signed. Tugade shared then that the pilot run could benefit future discussions on Senate Bill No. 2180, or the "Public Utility Motorcycles Act," which was filed by Senator JV Ejercito in January 2019.
LTFRB announced in a statement that it would enforce a 10,000 biker cap per bike-for-hire provider, which jumpstarted the #SaveAngkas campaign.
Angkas asked for support as 17,000 of its biker-partners would lose their jobs, affecting their families' source of income. Thousands of Angkas bikers took part in a demonstration rally that was held on December 22.
There are two other new motorcycle-hailing providers: JoyRide with 1,438 bikers and MoveIt with 1,414 bikers.
According to Republic Act No. 4136, or the "Land Transportation and Traffic Code," motorcycles cannot "engage in business or offer public transport."
"The law covers all," Gardiola said. If the law says bikes are not allowed, then they are not allowed. Who, then, will Angkas blame?”