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This is awkward: Angkas, LTFRB release conflicting statements

MC taxi firm claims agency will decommission 17,000 riders

Will countless Angkas riders disappear into thin air? IMAGE FROM ANGKAS

Well, this is weird.

At about 10am this morning, Angkas posted an official statement to its Facebook page. In a nutshell, the motorcycle transport provider was accusing the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board of planning to slash the number of Angkas riders down to just 10,000. Which means a total of 17,000 Angkas riders will be decommissioned and lose their source of livelihood.

The condemnation was so strong that the two-wheeled TNC deployed its PR agency to dispatch invites to a “Save Angkas Unity Gathering” set for December 22 (Sunday), 7am, at the EDSA Kalayaan Shrine.

Okay.

Amusingly, as the clock neared midnight, the LTFRB released its own statement—attributed to the chairman of the agency’s technical working group in charge of the issue. In a nutshell, the government side is denying the assertion of Angkas, calling it “untrue and without basis.”

The LTFRB’s technical working group is appealing to Angkas not to muddle the issue before the public through the use of social media

According to retired police major general Antonio Gardiola Jr., “there are now 39,000 motorcycle taxi riders who are joining the safety study from the original 27,000 Angkas riders,” and that “the number of motorcycle taxi riders participating in the study saw an increase with the inclusion of riders from two other MC taxi providers, Move It and JoyRide.”

The LTFRB statement added: “The TWG had extended the duration of the MC taxi pilot implementation scheme from 23 December 2019 to 23 March 2020.”

Finally, “the TWG is also appealing to Angkas not to muddle the issue before the public through the use of social media.”

A problematic part of an earlier LTFRB document stated the following:

Angkas, JoyRide and Move It will participate in the Extended Pilot Implementation starting 23 December 2019 to 23 March 2020, with an overall allotted cap of 39,000 registered bikers—10,000 bikers per TNC for Metro Manila and 3,000 bikers per TNC for Metro Cebu operations.

Even we are confused. What do you think?

NOTE: Er, so we think we now understand it. LTFRB is saying that the 17,000 riders that will be displaced at Angkas will not really lose their gig as they can now ride for the other two new players. But what if these guys don’t want to work for Move It and JoyRide, not least because all aspects of this trade will predictably be so much better at Angkas? What if the new motorcycle TNCs turn out to be incredibly incompetent? Can the 17,000 riders still go back to Angkas? No, they can’t, because there will now be a cap per TNC. It’s like training at a Shangri-La Hotel for months only to find out your permanent assignment will be at Sogo.



Vernon B. Sarne

Vernon is the founder and editor-in-chief of VISOR. He has been an automotive journalist for 24 years. He became one by serendipity, walking into the office of a small publishing company and applying for a position he had no idea was for a local car magazine. The rest, as they say, is rock and roll. He writes the column ‘Spoiler’.



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