Angkas cried foul over the ban on motorcycles below 400cc on Osmena Highway.
The ban, which has already taken effect on Monday (July 22), will be implemented on all motorcycles whose engine displacement is below 400cc and are coming from the East Service Road, Taguig City.
These vehicles will no longer be allowed to use the northbound portion of the highway starting from Sales Bridge in Pasay City. Instead of directly heading straight to Osmena via a small road connector that crosses the PNR track, the small motorcycles must divert to Pasong Tamo extension going to their destination in Pasay, Makati and Manila.
The issue raised by the Skyway O&M Corporation (SOMCO) for allegedly giving the order is safety.
In a press briefing held earlier at Ilustrado in Intramuros Manila, Angkas Head for Regulatory and Public Affairs George Royeca said that the ban is not only anti-motorcycle riders but also anti-poor.
Royeca raised a couple of questions with regards to the ban order particularly on the authority of a private corporation like Skyway O&M (SOMCO) to impose such a regulation.
“Why is it that only Skyway O&M is giving the order? We asked TRB, DOTr, DPWH and even MMDA and they don’t know anything about this. Can a private corporation now dictate the use of public roads and facilities?” Royeca said.
Royeca is joined by Angkas Head of Operations David Medrana, Jobert Bolanos, Ariel Lim and Atty. Ariel Inton to protest SOMCO for going beyond their jurisdiction and the confusion and hardship it caused in the last 2 days.
According to Bolanos, it is clear that the ban was a grave mistake on the part of Skyway and a move that is done without government consultation or basis.
“No private corporation has the right to dictate the use of public roads,” Royeca said.
Royeca also mentioned that Osmena Highway is not part of the Limited Access Facilities and therefore the ban is not only illegal but also anti-commuter. It will affect a lot of commuters that rely on these critical roads.
According to Medrana, there are only a handful of their 27,000 Angkas riders who have 400cc motorcycles. Therefore, Angkas biker-partners will have no choice but to do detours into roads that are usually jampacked with vehicles, forcing them to go through heavy traffic.
Atty. Inton said that they will not let this action go unchallenged and are giving Skyway O&M Corporation a week to reverse the order or face legal action.
For now, Medrana said that they are telling their Angkas riders to stay away from the banned roads.
Motorcycle clubs are also planning to stage unity rides and protests if the ban is not lifted. However they are not closing their doors to an open discussion with Skyway O&M Corporation to find out a better solution to whatever issues that will be raised.
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