At the height of the controversy over the three-month extension of the pilot run accorded by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to three motorcycle-taxi companies, the government agency recently conducted a crackdown on Angkas riders in Cagayan de Oro City and seized their units.
In an official announcement posted on its official Facebook page, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) even showed photos of the impounded motorbikes along with the Angkas riders that were apprehended by LTFRB operatives.
“Acting on several complaints, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board–Region 10 office in Cagayan de Oro swiftly conducted the operation against several units of Angkas, which have been reported to have been violating the terms of the MC Taxi Pilot Study guidelines adopted by the Technical Working Group,” read the DOTr statement.
“Under current transport laws, motorcycles are strictly prohibited from being utilized as public transportation. The exception now is the ongoing MC Pilot Study program being implemented by the TWG in Metro Manila and Metro Cebu only, which is being run to help Congress formulate a new law that would enable MCs to be considered as a new public transportation mode,” the agency added.
The DOTr, however, failed to mention the number of uniformed Angkas riders apprehended and motorcycles impounded during the crackdown. Sources said the Angkas riders in Cagayan de Oro City were operating with the blessing of the local government unit, but this information has yet to be confirmed by the authorities and by the Angkas management.
The operation against the Angkas riders in CDO happened amid various sectors criticizing the extended pilot run approved by the new set of TWG officials under the leadership of P/Maj. Gen. Antonio Gardiola Jr.
Among those critical of the latest decisions of the TWG—which include the removal of 17,000 Angkas riders to pave the way for two new motorcycle-taxi companies—is the Lawyers for Commuters Safety and Protection (LCSP) headed by Atty. Raymond Fortun and Atty. Ariel Inton, a former LTFRB board member. The LCSP went to the extent of questioning the legality of the existence of the new TWG team, saying there was no official order from the DOTr on the appointment of Gardiola and his team to lead the body.
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