BY WENDELL VIGILIA and MYLA IGLESIAS
A technical working group of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) yesterday decided to increase the riders cap of motorcycle taxi operators from 30,000 to 45,000 for Metro Manila after withdrawing its earlier plan to cancel the final leg of the pilot test run because of the case filed by Angkas against it.
This was revealed by Samar Rep. Edgar Sarmiento, chair of the House committee on transportation, after the panel held an executive session with the members of the TWG and representatives from motorcycle taxi firms Angkas, JoyRide, and Move It.
An agreement has earlier been reached between the DOTr, TWG, and the motorcycle taxi companies participating in the pilot run to continue the test run until March this year.
The 45,000 riders cap will be equally divided among the three motorcycle taxi operators participating in the pilot test run.
Also included in the agreement was the inclusion of Cagayan de Oro as one of the areas covered by the pilot run which was originally limited to Metro Manila and Metro Cebu.
Metro Cebu and CDO will have a riders cap of 9,000 each, which will be equally divided between the three firms.
With the new cap, Angkas, Joyride and Moveit will have allocation of 15,000 bikers each in Metro Manila; 3,000 each in Metro Cebu; and 3,000 each in CDO.
TWG head Antonio Gardiola Jr. said that if one motorcycle taxi operator cannot come up with the allocated number of bikers, it can re-allocate its share to other players.
MoveIt gave 5,000 of its allocation to Angkas, giving the latter a total of 20,000 bikers. The move was approved by JoyRide.
Sarmiento said: “We made sure that the people, our commuters will be the ones to benefit here. By that, I believe we have done our jobs already and provide solution to the problem.”
Angkas Chief Transport Advocate George Royeca thanked Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade and Sarmiento for mediating to end the “impasse.”
“I am happy that everyone is now involved in the test run and will be working together towards the same goal,” he said.
In the spirit of give and take, Gardiola said the TWG will no longer blacklist Angkas as a motorcycle taxi operator after the latter committed to withdraw the court cases it filed against the TWG seeking to stop the implementation of the riders cap.
Royeca said “cases were to put in our grievance, we have discussed it and we are now in collaboration. We’ve spoken with secretary (Tugade) yesterday (Tuesday). We also heard the opinions of senators and the good congressman today. I think everybody is involved in this endeavor.”
Royeca said the agreement to continue the test run that Angkas and the two other players struck with the DOTr, the LTFRB, and the TWG “is an important win for the Philippines, particularly for the commuters and the bikers of all three motorcycle taxi companies.”