Angkas accused of 'emotional blackmail' in DOTr social media open letter

Angkas accused of 'emotional blackmail' in DOTr social media open letter
Thousands of Angkas riders gather to protest the 10,000-rider cap imposed on the company by LTFRB.
Release / Angkas

MANILA, Philippines — The Motorcycle Taxi technical working group on Monday evening accused ride-hailing app Angkas of making a public spectacle and "[resorting] to emotional blackmail" over a 10,000-rider cap that the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board has imposed on motorcycle taxi firms.

In an open letter posted on the Department of Transportation's social media accounts, the TWG disputed Angkas' statement last Saturday that 17,000 of its 27,000 riders would lose their jobs because of the cap.

READ: Nearly 20,000 bikers to lose jobs with new LTFRB cap, Angkas says

The LTFRB has set a 30,000-rider cap in Metro Manila divided among Angkas and new players JoyRide and MoveIt. Another 9,000 will be authorized to operate in Cebu City, also split among the three companies. 

"Your argument that 17,000 out of your 27,000 riders will be deprived of their livelihood does not hold water, as they are the prospects of JoyRide and Move It. For Angkas to claim the 17,000 as their own is in itself curtailment and infringement of the right of the rider to seek the best employment opportunity," the TWG said.

The TWG said Angkas wants to establish a monopoly, which, "is precisely what the government is trying to avoid at all cost."

RELATED: LTFRB hits 'overreacting' Angkas on new riders cap

The LTFRB is extending its pilot test of motorcycles from December 23, 2019 to March 23, 2020 and the TWG stressed in its open letter that Angkas is being allowed to operate as a privilege.

"[W]e wish to reiterate that the Motorcyle Taxi Service program is still on PILOT RUN basis, and that you still do not have an official transport franchise. We are extending the Pilot Run as we deem it necessary to give us the opportunity to fully assess the program and how best it will serve the commuter," the TWG said.

READ: Angkas bikers protest LTFRB cap on authorized riders

"Your participation is a privilege that the government has extended, and it should not be construed as a right to impose or demand monopolistic provisions that will be detrimental to the program in the long run."

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