30,000 Angkas bikers await go signal to resume


MOTORCYCLE hailing operator Angkas (DBDOYC, Inc.) said on Sunday it is optimistic that the pilot study on motorcycle taxis will soon resume to allow its 30,000 jobless bikers to operate again amid the pandemic crisis.

“Now that the economy is slowly and safely reopening, 60% of workers are mandated to physically go back to work. However, there are only 40% public transportation available to them. Angkas would be happy to bridge that gap,” George I. Royeca, head of regulatory and public affairs for Angkas, said in a statement.

Angkas said more than 5,000 bikers expressed their gratitude to the government through a thanksgiving ride on Sunday after the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) endorsed to the House of Representatives a request by the National Capital Region’s mayors to direct the Transportation department to resume the motorcycle taxi pilot study.

The original pilot study had expired in December last year but was extended for three months.

Transportation Assistant Secretary Goddes Hope O. Libiran has said Congress might have to pass a resolution for another pilot program on motorcycle taxis.

“Congress, through the House transportation committee, had earlier expressed its support for the continued pilot run pending a resolution that would legitimize motorcycle taxis as a form of public transportation,” Angkas said.

Mass transportation currently operates on a limited capacity due to physical distancing protocols aimed at containing the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Angkas, which operates motorcycle taxis, said it recorded no virus transmission when it catered to healthcare workers at the start of the lockdown.

Angkas said the resumption of its operations is backed by a study conducted by the University of the Philippines-College of Public Health (UP-CPH).

“The UP-CPH study points out that motorcycle taxis, in fact, help reduce this danger as both biker partners and passengers, while riding on the vehicle, are not confined in an enclosed structure,” Angkas said. — Arjay L. Balinbin

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