In a presscon earlier, Angkas Chief Transport Advocate George Royeca, clarifies several issues thrown at the motorcycle taxi ride-hailing service provider over the past month.
It should be noted that, Angkas recently held a massive Unity Gathering in EDSA Whiteplains protesting the decision of LTFRB-TWG in imposing a riders cap on Angkas and the two new motorcycle taxi companies participating in the pilot run program.
After which and most recently, LTFRB-TWG has accused Angkas of bullying as well as with other violations and threatens to blacklist the company as well.
Royeca stressed that Angkas will continue to work with government regulators and not against them, even as he expressed his hope for the riders cap to be lifted so that everyone can proceed with the extended pilot run smoothly and without any hitches.
“I would like to commend the government for seriously considering motorcycle taxis as an added transport option for Filipino commuters amid the ongoing traffic crisis. We are also hopeful that lawmakers will find merit in what we have been espousing all these months – that motorcycle taxis are crucial to addressing our countrymen’s mobility problems.”
Given the circumstances that they’re currently in, it is no surprise that the strong voice of Angkas’ passionate leader has changed to a milder tone.
Royeca said that they are not picking a fight with government regulators.
“Right from the start, we worked hard to be compliant with everything the LTFRB and the DOTr’s TWG had set in the first motorcycle taxi test run. For six whole months last year, there was never any problem. IT MUST BE NOTED THAT WE COMPLIED WITH EVERYTHING THAT THE TWG ASKED US TO DO IN THE INITIAL TEST RUN.”
Compliance particularly with the following requirements:
- Re-training of riders
- Providing of Safety Vests based on TWG recommendations
In a presentation he showed during the presscon, Royeca reported that a total of 117,166 bikers have applied with Angkas. Of that number, 36,797 bikers were onboarded. However, only 26,478 were retrained and activated for the first pilot run and 10,378 were deactivated.
Royeca also emphasized that Angkas is not against competition in the motorcycle taxi industry.
“I knew that there will be new players as soon as motorcycle taxis become the subject of legislation and regulated. I have never aspired for monopoly.”
Royeca also said that when LTFRB announced the extension of the pilot with new players, he even told media in an interview that he’s totally fine with the inclusion of new players.
Rider’s Cap: The Real Issue
Royeca also emphasized that what they are protesting is not the pilot extension nor the entry of the new players but the 10,000 riders cap as an ‘unfair and anti-competitive provision that will effectively punish the majority of our riders who have been working hard for six months’.
“What we really want is to have the cap removed or increase the cap for all motorcycle taxi providers, not just Angkas, because the market is still terribly underserved and we need more bikers on the road.”
Royeca explained that while they are claiming to be 27,000 strong, not all of them thesea full-time and certainly not everyone are on the street at the same time. They are estimating that based on experience, roughly only around 5,000 are on the streets serving the commuting public which is terribly much less than what is actually needed.
Setting The Highest Safety Standards
Royeca also said that one cannot build a competent and safe biker network overnight.
“It took us three years and dozens of safety training sessions and hundreds of hours if training to come up with a fleet of 27,000 competent bikers.”
Royeca reported that in the three years since Angkas started, the Angkas app was downloaded three million times. In the course of the pilot run, they have recorded millions of rides. In terms of the service’s safety record, Angkas riders had only .003% accidents with zero fatalities.
Angkas also has in place an Emergency Response Team and Medical Accident Network with 6 Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) – trained full time employees, 42 EMR-trained biker respondents,12 on-call doctors, and eight affiliate hospitals. During the initial pilot run, the average response time recorded was 30 minutes.
Royeca also reported that Angkas has set aside an accident emergency fund to cover expenses above and beyond what’s provided by the private insurance. The company also ensures proper financial controls and standard operating procedures for a quick fund disbursement for immediate patient assistance.
“We have invested so much in continuous training – our trainor’s have been trained by a US firm that trains US Marines and conducts motorcycle rider licensing and accreditation. They have also undergone training with the PNP-HPG, and we are continuously working on updating and improving further our trainings.”
Royeca who owns 60% of Angkas also said that they have the highest safety standards for motor vehicle services in the region.
If all these figures are correct and as far as safety standards are concern, I think the public would agree that what Angkas have right now should be emulated by the other players who wants to get in on the motorcycle taxi industry.
What’s Next For Angkas
Royeca is currently pushing for talks with LTFRB and the congress.
When asked to comment on LTFRB-TWG statement about Angkas also pushing for monopoly, Royeca said:
“This cannot be about competition before legislation and even after legislation, we have an entire nation to service here.”
Royeca in closing said:
“I would like to reinforce on public record that we have always and will continue to work with government regulators and not against them. But on the same breath, we ask for FAIRNESS, in consideration of all that hard work we have done to comply with the government since last year.”
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