Philippine economy

Angkas targets 6-month pilot run by end of June

Aika Rey
Angkas aims to fully retrain the remaining 15,000 bikers by end of June to finally start the 6-month pilot implementation

RETRAINING. Angkas says they are retraining about 2,000 drivers a day in San Andres Complex in Manila.

MANILA, Philippines – Motorcycle ride-hailing firm Angkas gears up its preparation for the start of its 6-month pilot run by the end of June.

In a press briefing on Thursday, June 13, Angkas regulatory and public affairs head George Royeca said they are retraining their bikers to comply with the government guidelines until the end of the month.

“All of our biker-partners go through rigorous riding skills assessments, written tests, and extensive safety training to ensure they meet very high safety standards,” Royeca said.

Of the 27,000 Angkas drivers in the system, 15,000 have yet to be retrained. Angkas said it is “hopeful” that the process would be completed by the end of June.

Prior to the pilot run, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) raised concerns over teh safety of passengers of motorcycle taxis, apart from the legal issues hounding the service.

“We fail over 70% of applicants to make sure that only the most capable bikers ferry passengers for Angkas,” Royeca said.

Royeca said they will not be adding new units within that period.

Apart from the safety tests, Angkas bikers will now be identified with special reflectorized vests with side straps that passengers can hold on to during the ride.

The vests will also have the biker’s unique ID number so that users are ensured that only officially registered bikers can take bookings.

UNIFORM. Angkas drivers will now be using a vest to be easily identified.

Angkas operations head David Medrana said that all bikers and passengers will still be covered by insurance for every ride, just as their practice before.

The DOTr said the data from the pilot implementation will be used in drafting the bill on legalizing motorcycle taxis.

“Hopefully, after the 6-month pilot run, the law to regulate motorcycle taxis can already be passed,” Medrana said.

Currently, Republic Act No. 4136 or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code does not allow motorcycles to be used for hire or for transport. This is the reason why Angkas has been facing legal hurdles in its operations. (READ: Why Angkas is illegal)

In December 2018, the DOTr created a technical working group to flesh out these issues but maintained that there is a need to amend the Land Transportation and Traffic Code or pass another law that would allow it.

The 17th Congress closed without successfully passing the proposed Motorcycle-for-Hire Act. The House of Representatives passed on third and final reading House Bill No. 8959 but its counterpart measure in the Senate, Senate Bill 2180, remained at the committee level. – Rappler.com

Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at aika.rey@rappler.com.