MANILA - Motorcycle-hailing app Angkas on Saturday appealed to the public to help "save" some 17,000 drivers who are expected to lose their jobs after the government slashed more than half of the motorcycle taxi company's workforce.
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has denied Angkas' petition to have more drivers, and instead limited the motorcycle-hailing app's drivers to 10,000 from 27,000.
"That's a compromise to the quality of service you can expect, and a direct blow to 17,000 Filipino families," Angkas said in a statement.
"Bakit kailangan bawasan at tanggalan ng trabaho ang mga bikers natin? Bakit kailangan parusahan ang mga bikers na nakapag-training at napatunayan na ang galing sa daan?"
(Why limit and take away the jobs of our bikers? Why punish bikers who went through training and have proven their skills on the road?)
"Your everyday heroes in traffic will enter this Christmas season not knowing whether they will have money to feed their families next year."
Angkas stressed the importance of having motorcycle taxis amid Metro Manila's gridlock.
"The traffic in our thoroughfares is getting heavier each day, and there are more and more commuters to serve as time goes by," it said.
"Kahit patawa at balasubas kami sa social media (While we are funny and crass in social media), we prioritize the safety the safety of our passengers and the welfare of our bikers, which will now become harder to do with these new rules."
Angkas said it would mount a "unity gathering" in front of the People Power Monument along EDSA White Plains early Sunday morning to protest the LTFRB policy.
Several lawmakers have filed bills to legalize operations of motorcycle taxis in the Philippines.
"The demand for this service simply cannot be ignored," Sen. Sonny Angara said of the measure filed last September.