City to work with Angkas

Last week, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) declared Angkas “illegal” and started apprehending its riders. Philstar.com/File

City to work with Angkas
(The Freeman) - November 20, 2017 - 4:00pm

Cebu City is planning to get the services of controversial motorcycle-for-hire Angkas even after the company’s services were declared illegal by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).

Mayor Tomas Osmeña said he has been receiving requests from residents here, specifically from students and call center agents, who are “disturbed” by the cancellation of Angkas’ operation.

Last week, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) declared Angkas “illegal” and started apprehending its riders.

Angkas, which started its operation in Cebu City last July, is an online booking system for motorcycle-for-hire wherein commuters use a mobile application to book pick-up and drop-off locations for a fixed fare.

Osmeña said Cebu City residents have asked him to do something about the situation.

“I have received a lot of requests about people being disturbed with the dismantling of Angkas. And I agree that Angkas is providing a real service to ordinary Cebuanos. I received texts from students, call center agents saying how valuable Angkas is in addressing their problem on transportation,” he said.

“We will hire their consultancy or management services but they will not collect from the drivers. Nobody will collect from the drivers… since they know the technicalities, they can serve the people through the city government so Angkas will continue under the city government,” Osmeña told reporters.

Osmeña said Angkas will submit its final proposal to the city soon.

“As soon as they can give me the proposal, I will immediately consider this as an emergency program because many people are asking,” the mayor said.

“All I know is that it’s working well. We will try to make it apply based on the clamor that I’m getting from the people. If that’s what the people want, that’s what the people will get,” he said.

Asked about the legality of the partnership, Osmeña said simply, “the job of the city government is to serve the people."

Phillip Zafra, president of the Association of Barangay Councils-Cebu City Chapter, agrees with Osmeña, saying there is a demand for Angkas’ mode of transportation because of the “worsening traffic congestion in the city.”

“However, we should regulate them and that regulation should start from the barangay level through accreditation,” he said.

Zafra said the barangay should initiate the profiling of drivers and ensure that they have a license and their motorcycles are registered. Once the barangay gets the information, it would then endorse the driver to the Cebu City Transportation Office to undergo a seminar on traffic rules and regulations.

Delfin Adolfo, acting officer of the Two-wheeled Motorized Vehicle Monitoring Coordination and Assistance Unit, welcomed the development, saying it will benefit the 2,000 riders in Cebu City alone.

Work options

Meanwhile, LTFRB and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) are now in talks on providing alternative livelihood to habal-habal drivers and members of Angkas who have lost their means of livelihood.

"Padayon pa ang discussion between LTFRB and DOLE unsa nga alternative livelihood ang ihatag para sa mga motorcycle drivers," said LTFRB-7 Director Ahmed Cuizon.

These alternative livelihood programs may include mail delivery and delivery of goods.

“Kay dili man gyud na allowed ubos sa atong balaod nga mamasahero ni sila. They can deliver goods but dili pwede mamasahero sila," Cuizon said.

Cuizon said they are more concerned about Angkas because it operates as a Transport Network Company, which needs authority from LTFRB. Angkas members also operate as Transport Network Vehicles providers who do not have franchises from LTFRB.

Habal-habal operators, he said, are plain violators of transportation laws who do not pretend to be TNVS units operating under an app of a TNC. (FREEMAN)

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