MANILA – Motorcycle ride-hailing firm Angkas on Thursday said its riders will be back on the road to service commuters after the Mandaluyong City Regional Trial Court (RTC) granted its plea for a preliminary injunction against a government shutdown.
Angkas head of operations David Medrana announced the order in a statement, saying the injunction "effectively allow[s] us to resume transportation operations."
"We are thankful for the court order and will continue to work with the government agencies to push for policies that will provide dignity and livelihood opportunities to millions of Filipino families who depend on motorbikes as their source of income," the statement read.
The motorcycle ride-hailing app also announced the news through a social media post with the hashtag “Angkas is back.”
"Guys, we're a little shookt. Please give us time to adjust, alam namin excited kayo (we know you are excited). Konting patience muna, mga mumsh (A little patience friends), we'll try to get more bikers to serve you all," Angkas said.
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) shut down Angkas' motorcycle ride-hailing operations in November 2017 after they found that it was operating without a business permit.
Angkas said its app has been installed more than half a million times, gaining popularity among commuters looking to bypass Metro Manila's traffic-choked roads.
The Department of Transportation and the LTFRB were dismayed by the court order, saying Angkas vehicles would be considered "colorum" or operating illegally.
"If Angkas is to continue accrediting motorcycles registered as private vehicles to book rides and accept passengers for a fee, it is considered as without authority from the government regulators and, therefore, are considered colorum vehicles," the two agencies said in a joint statement.
"Our position is that motorcycles registered in the service are not authorized to conduct business and offer public transport under Republic Act 4136. For them to be allowed, the law has to be amended by Congress," read the statement, referring to the Land Transportation and Traffic Code.
The agencies maintained that the business puts the safety of commuters at risk "as motorcycles are not considered as a safe mode of public transport."
"Safety is our priority. Following our laws is our priority. Obviously, Angkas is just interested in making profit, and profit, alone," they said.