Consider other options on Angkas, competition body urges LTFRB

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 26 2019 11:02 AM | Updated as of Dec 26 2019 12:46 PM

Thousands of Angkas bikers hold a protest at the EDSA Shrine in Quezon City, Sunday after the transport regulator capped the membership of ride hailing services to 10,000 riders each. Around 17,000 Angkas riders are at risk of losing their source of income due to the policy, the firm said. Jire Carreon, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — (UPDATE) The Philippines' competition watchdog on Thursday urged transport regulators to study other options apart from limiting drivers of motorcycle-hailing firm Angkas to encourage the entry of competitors.

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) can allow riders to be affiliated simultaneously with multiple ride-hailing firms like JoyRide and MoveIt, said Johannes Bernabe, a member of the Philippine Competition Commission. 

"Iyong drivers po siyempre ang kanilang ise-service agad e kung sino iyong maraming nagre-request na booking," Bernabe told radio DZMM. 

"Ang mga consumers naman, makikita nila sino ba rito ang pinakamura, sino ba rito ang pinaka-safe, sinong maganda ang kalidad ng serbisyo, at iyon ang kanilang tatangkilikin," he added. 

(The drivers will of course serve the platform that has many booking requests. The consumers, meanwhile, will see which of these firms is the most affordable, safest, who has the best service -- and they will patronize that.) 

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Angkas earlier accused the LTFRB of corruption after it ruled that only 10,000 of the firm's 27,000 riders would be allowed to participate in the extension of the pilot run for motor taxis. 

The regulator accused Angkas of "emotional blackmail" and seeking to monopolize motorcycle taxi services, which it denied. 

"Ang aming iminumungkahi ay pag-aralan kung ano iyong mga iba't ibang options para kanilang matupad iyong objective nila na ma-promote ang competition dito sa ride-hailing market para sa mga motorsiklo," Bernabe told radio DZMM. 

(Our suggestion is to study other options to accomplish their goal of promoting competition in the ride-hailing market for motorcycles.) 

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, said the LTFRB. 

Growing to its current size is a "risk" that Angkas took despite being cautioned by authorities, said Transportation Assistant Secretary Alberto Suansing, a member of the inter-agency body studying regulation for motor taxis.

"Sumige-sige sila dahil nakakita sila ng oportunidad because of the situation, ma-trapik and everything, pumasok sila sa ganun," Suansing told DZMM.

(They pushed through because they saw an opportunity because of traffic. They went ahead.)

Suansing urged lawmakers to come up with a law on motorcycle taxis. He said the inter-agency body's recommendations would be out by the end of the extended pilot in March.

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