MANILA - Public transport regulators hit back at motorcycle-ride hailing firm Angkas on Monday accusing it of "emotional blackmail" and seeking to monopolize motorcycle taxi services following the company's campaign to prevent 17,000 of its riders from potentially losing their jobs.
Angkas has accused the Land Transporation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) of corruption after an inter-agency Technical Working Group (TWG) studying the feasibility of motorcycle taxis ruled that only 10,000 of Angkas' 27,000 riders will be allowed to participate in the extension of the pilot run for the service.
The LTFRB said two other ride-hailing firms, namely Joy Ride and Move It, will each be allowed to field 10,000 riders during the extension of the pilot run from Dec. 23 to March 23, 2020.
Angkas is protesting the reduction of the number of riders it can field.
The TWG however said Angkas was using public opinion to protect its "vested interest."
"It is quite unfortunate that ANGKAS has made a public spectacle, and has resorted to emotional blackmail in its attempt to cement its foothold on this transport service," the TWG said in a statement posted on the LTFRB's official Facebook page.
The TWG's statement was addressed to George Royeca, Angkas’ chief transport advocate.
The inter-agency body said Angkas' claim that 17,000 riders would end up jobless was not true because these riders can transfer to Joy Ride and Move It.
The TWG said also accused Angkas of trying to monopolize motorcycle taxi services.
"The fact remains that you want exclusivity with these riders to establish a monopoly."
The TWG also said that since there is no law yet that allows motorcycle taxis to have a franchise, Angkas participation in the pilot run was a privilege that "should not be construed as a right to impose or demand monopolistic provisions that will be detrimental to the program in the long run."
Several lawmakers have filed bills to legalize operations of motorcycle taxis in the Philippines.