Will Malacañang announce today, October 12, its decision on whether to allow or not another pilot run for some motorcycle taxi companies?
This question probably crossed the minds of motorists after witnessing a big motorcade with more than 5,000 riders of the ride-hailing motorcycle taxi Angkas traversing EDSA—from Heritage Hotel in Pasay City to Trinoma in Quezon City and back—yesterday morning.
Dubbed as a thanksgiving ride, the Angkas riders had leaflets on their bikes with markings saying “Salamat, Tatay Digong (President Duterte's nickname),” while others tied blue balloons onto their motorbikes with the same message.
In a two-column formation, the riders occupied the motorcycle lane while maintaining a safe speed and promptly stopping at intersections at red lights. All of them proudly wore not only the Angkas-issued helmets and uniforms, but they also the government-approved backriding shields.
“Taos puso po kaming nagpapasalamat sa lahat ng congressmen, kay Cong. Edgar Mary Sarmiento po at sa lahat ng mambabatas na nagtitiwala sa kakayahan ng Angkas lalo na sa aming mga bikers. Taus puso rin kaming nagpapasalamat kay Pangulong Duterte, sa IATF at DOTr dahil binigyan kami ng pagkakataon na muling makapaghanapbuhay at makatulong sa lahat ng naiipit sa traffic,” says Ryan Rillera, president of motorcycle rider organization Taguig Spartans.
Last October 8, Carlito Galvez of the National Task Force (NTF) on COVID-19 disclosed that they have submitted to President Duterte their recommendation to allow the resumption of the motorcycle taxi pilot run scheme. This was based on the request by the House Committee on Transportation led by Sarmiento for experimental run for some motorcycle taxi companies to obtain the much-needed data on the drafting of a law that would finally recognize motorcycle taxis for hire.
Aside from this, the house committee also noted the acute shortage of public transportation resulting from the existing policy on social distancing and they believe motorcycle taxis can fill in the vacuum even on a temporary basis.
Also, the IATF has endorsed to the House panel the request of the Metro Manila mayors to continue the pilot study of motorcycle taxis since they proved to be vital in ferrying the frontliners at the height of the pandemic. No case of viral transmission had been reported when Angkas volunteered to provide free shuttle service to the medical frontliners
Let’s hope that Malacanang will issue an official statement on this issue during the scheduled full cabinet meeting today.