THE DEPARTMENT of Transportation (DoTr) has expressed its disappointment over the return of motorcycle-hailing company Angkas, maintaining its stance that the company’s services should be kept off the road.
In a statement Thursday night, the DoTr and its attached agency, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), said they are “saddened” by a regional court’s decision favoring Angkas, and that the government will pursue legal action to “ensure that our roads are cleared of colorum vehicles, such as Angkas motorcycles.”
“Our position is that motorcycles registered in the service are not authorized to conduct business and offer public transport under Republic Act 4136. For them to be allowed, the law has to be amended by Congress,” the statement said.
The Mandaluyong City Regional Trail Court (RTC) has issued a preliminary injunction, which keeps DoTr and LTFRB from directly and indirectly interfering with the operations of Angkas.
In a statement on Thursday, Angkas announced its comeback, saying the House of Representatives has honored the Mandaluyong RTC’s order in a congressional hearing of the Metro Manila Development committee on Wednesday.
Quoting Quezon City Rep. Winston Castelo, committee chairperson, Angkas said, “With the worsening traffic and the inefficient mass transport system, thousands of disgruntled commuters are urging measures that can help them in their daily commuting struggles. Alternative means of transportation are a necessity.”
However, the DoTr and LTFRB defended, “If Angkas is to continue accrediting motorcycles registered as private vehicles to book rides and accept passengers for a fee, it is considered as without authority from the government regulators, and, therefore, are considered colorum vehicles.”
The government agencies said Angkas is “just interested in making profit, and profit, alone,” while their intention is to ensure the safety of the commuting public.
In November last year, the LTFRB apprehended several drivers from motorcycle-hailing services, citing Republic Act 4136 or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code, which prohibits private motorcycles from operating as public service vehicles.
The Makati City government also ordered the shutdown of Angkas’ office for allegedly operating without a permit.
Angkas then voluntarily closed its operations. — Denise A. Valdez