Angkas is back on the road as the House Transportation Committee announced Wednesday that an agreement has been reached between the DOTr, TWG, and the motorcycle taxi companies participating in the pilot run to continue the test run until March this year.
Aside from getting the green light to proceed with the test run, the riders cap was increased from 30,000 to 45,000 for Metro Manila.
Also included in the agreement was the inclusion of Cagayan de Oro as one of the areas covered by the pilot run which was originally limited to Metro Manila and Metro Cebu. Metro Cebu and CDO will have a riders cap of 9,000 each.
The announcement was made after the Transport Committee headed by Rep. Edgar Mary Sarmiento, held an executive session with the committee members, the government regulators, and the three motorcycle taxi companies. The blueprint for the agreement, however, was discussed during a meeting between the DOTr, TWG, LTFRB, and the motorcycle taxi players the previous day.
“Sinigurado naming ang resulta talaga ay para sa kabutihan ng mamamayan, mananakay, at doon po sa tatlong kumpanya na kasama sa pilot testing,” Sarmiento stressed. “By that, siguro nagawa na namin ang aming trabaho, at binigyan natin ng lunas ang mananakay. Wala na po ang paghinto, tuloy na po tayo. Sana’y aanyayahain ko na pumunta tayo sa harap, magkamayan po tayo, kasama ang miyembro ng Kamara to move this country forward,” he added.
“We are very grateful to Sec. Tugade and Rep. Sarmiento for mediating for the impasse settlement. I am happy that everyone is now involved in the test run and will be working together towards the same goal,” Angkas Chief Transport Advocate George Royeca said. “The agreement to continue the test run that Angkas and the two other players struck with the DOTr, the LTFRB, and the TWG is an important win for the Philippines, particularly for the commuters and the bikers of all three motorcycle taxi companies,” he added.
“I am thankful to everyone who have been with us in this continued journey — the government agencies and their respective heads, the senators and the congressmen who understood the situation and helped us arrive at a consensus, the civil society representatives who passionately stood their ground, the bikers who were behind us all the way, and the commuters and passengers who prayed with us for a peaceful resolution to all this,” Royeca noted.
“I would like to particularly thank the Senate Committee on Public Services, led by Committee Chair Sen. Grace Poe, with the support of Sen. Ralph Recto, Sen. Win Gatchalian, Sen. Imee Marcos, Sen. Joel Villanueva and the other senators who have been monitoring this issue from the beginning, for their acknowledgment of the importance of motorcycle taxis in mitigating our commuters’ daily struggles. And, of course, Sen. Bong Go for bringing the matter to the President and recommending the continuation of the pilot,” Royeca declared.
“This is democracy at work. Everybody stepped in, courts were involved, the secretary, the executive branch, General Gardiola, and the other players in the private sector. So now, everybody’s working hand in hand. I think this is a testament to the success of the democratic process. We’re very happy with the result,” Royeca declared. “Our focus right now is to continue working with the government to make the pilot a success,” he added.
TWG Chair Antonio Gardiola Jr. shared that there is also a new redistribution provision in relation to the riders cap. “Kung hindi kaya ng isang player to come up with the maximum number of riders, ibibgay sa ibang company na kaya,” he said.
“We are considering all sentiments that’s why we came up with this. Even the blacklisting of Angkas is already a closed book,” Gardiola stressed.