TWG raises biker cap to 21,000 per motorcycle taxi firm

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – After facing a couple of temporary restraining orders (TRO) against the controversial biker cap of the motorcycle taxi pilot run, the overseeing technical working group (TWG) has now agreed to raise the cap from 13,000 to 21,000 per provider. 

In an interview on ANC's Early Edition, TWG chair Antonio Gardiola Jr revealed that concessions were agreed upon on the part of the motorcycle taxi providers – Angkas, JoyRide, and Move It – as well as the TWG.

What's the agreement? The biker cap would be raised, but all cases against the TWG's guidelines will be dropped.

"We agree that all cases filed against the technical working group will be withdrawn. They agreed on that. And during the period of the study, no cases will be filed constraining the TWG on some aspects, especially the guidelines," Gardiola said. 

Angkas earlier filed a petition for a TRO against the guidelines of the pilot run, in particular against the biker cap, which would have forced the firm to slash up to 17,000 of its bikers. It also filed a petition to exclude JoyRide and MoveIt from participating in the pilot run.

After the House committee on transportation hearing on Wednesday, January 22, Angkas chief transport advocate George Royeca confirmed that the cases would be dropped. 

"The cases [were filed] to put in a grievance on one of the provisions and we already spoke about it, and that's what it's for; it's not really for anything else. So we are now in a spirit of collaboration," Royeca said in a mix of English and Filipino.

The initial biker cap per motorcycle taxi firm was 10,000 bikers in Metro Manila and 3,000  in Metro Cebu. The new cap allows each motorcycle taxi firm to have up to 15,000 bikers in Metro Manila, 3,000 in Metro Cebu, and 3,000 in Cagayan de Oro. 

Gardiola said the TWG recognized the need in other urban areas so Cagayan de Oro was added as a new area for the pilot run. 

Angkas units were earlier apprehended in Cagayan de Oro for operating outside the areas allowed by the pilot run.

Asked what would happen to these units, Gardiola said it would be up to the court. 

What if the firms fail to reach the cap? As earlier stated, biker slots that are not filled by a motorcycle taxi provider may be redistributed to the firm that has reached the limit. At the moment, Angkas already registered 10,000 bikers in Metro Manila, the maximum under the initial cap.

"Kung hindi kaya ng isang player to come up with that number of riders, ibibigay po 'yun doon sa company na ready and [that has] that number of riders, which is right now, we can say it's Angkas," Gardiola said.

(If one player cannot come up with that number of riders, the slots will be given to the company that already has that number of riders, which is right now, we can say it's Angkas.)

According to Gardiola, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade already asked JoyRide and MoveIt if they would be amenable to this provision, and that the two companied  had no objections.

The TWG and the providers have yet discuss when biker registration would end to allow for the redistribution of slots. –


Loreben Tuquero

Loreben Tuquero is a researcher-writer for Rappler. Before transferring to Rappler's Research team, she covered transportation, Quezon City, and the Department of the Interior and Local Government as a reporter. She graduated with a communication degree from the Ateneo de Manila University.