Commuters voice concerns after SC halts Angkas operations

December 12, 2018 - 3:41 PM
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Motorycle Interaksyon
Motorcycle rider in Metro Manila (Philstar.com/file photo)

Commuters in congested Metro Manila are airing their concerns after the Supreme Court decided to lift the injuction on the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board’s power to stop the operations of motorycle ride-hailing app Angkas.

The Supreme Court Second Division in its resolution released on Wednesday morning granted the LTFRB a temporary restraining order against the writ of preliminary injuction issued by Judge Carlos Valenzuela of the Mandaluyong City Regional Trial Court Branch 213 in favor of the ride-hailing company in August 2018.

The LTFRB filed a petition on certiorari at the Supreme Court following the trial court decision.

The previous RTC decision stopped the LTFRB from apprehending motorcycle riders working with Angkas. The transportation agency in November 2017 shut down the ride-hailing service and apprehended a number of riders for non-coordination.

The LTFRB is reportedly set to issue a resolution to implement the SC’s decision.

Some commuters voiced their opposition to the decision, bemoaning how they would lose more commuting options.

End of habal-habal era?

LTFRB chair Martin Delgra has warned against the practice of using two-wheeled motorcycles for public transportation, known colloquially as “habal-habal” citing safety issues and legal impediments.

Angkas was seen as an attempt at mainstreaming habal-habal practice.

Section 7(a) of Republic Act 4136 or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code prohibits the use of motorcycles for public transport.

Motorcycles are also not included in the 2015 Department of Transportation order that allowed privately-owned sedans, AUVs and SUVs to be used in public transportation through registration with a transport network vehicle service.

“RA 4136 is the law. Unless it is changed, then that is the only time that they can be allowed. Otherwise, no,” former LTFRB board member Aileen Lizada said in a media interview in 2017 about why the LTFRB found Angkas’ services to be illegal.

Some Angkas users in the days before the SC resolution was released complained about the surging costs of Angkas rides.

Some groups in the past raised concerns that the habal-habal practice was not entirely safe, citing statistics that said at least 53 percent of fatal road crashes in the Philippines involved motorcycle riders.