Is this another form of discrimination against the masses? This question was raised by an official of Angkas as regards the prohibition of sub-400cc motorcycles on Osmeña Highway beginning on July 22, 2019.
This means that a motorcycle coming from the East Service Road (Taguig City) can no longer use the northbound portion of Osmeña Highway starting from Sales Bridge (Pasay City) if its engine displacement is below 400cc. Instead of proceeding to Osmeña Highway via a small road connector that crosses the PNR track, such motorcycles will have to divert to Pasong Tamo Extension going to their destination in Pasay, Makati, or Manila.
For several years now, traffic enforcement on Sales Bridge and adjacent areas has been under the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), although patrolmen of the Skyway and the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) are deployed in the area during rush hour to disentangle gridlock on the ramps of the elevated portion along Osmeña Highway.
In a previous interview with Moto Sapiens, the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) has denied having jurisdiction over Osmeña Highway, saying the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is now in charge of this main thoroughfare.
Meanwhile, the Skyway management has pointed at the TRB as the one responsible for putting up the advisories about the sub-400cc motorcycle ban on Osmeña Highway. MMDA operations supervisor Bong Nebrija also says his agency is now out of the picture because the sub-400cc motorcycle ban is allegedly the Skyway management’s idea.
With the issue going in circles, the question is which agency will enforce the ban?
While all this is happening, small-bike riders are up in arms against this measure. “[The ban] will affect a lot of commuters that rely on these critical roads. Kulang na nga ang daan sa Metro Manila, babawasan pa nila ang daan ng mga nangangailangan,” said Angkas regulatory and public affairs division head George Royeca.
“Here is another clear case of discrimination targeted sa mga masang Pilipino,” he pointed out, adding that such road regulations only show that some sectors are favoring the rich and privileged individuals.
There are currently around 27,000 Angkas riders, most of them operating in Metro Manila using motorcycles with engines ranging from 100cc to 200cc. If the ban takes effect, these riders will have to pass through Pasong Tamo Extension where traffic is horrendous.
Moto Sapiens has also noticed that some motorcycle groups are already organizing via social media a protest ride against the sub-400cc motorcycle ban.
Do you use Angkas or ride a sub-400cc motorcycle? Feel free to share your thoughts on this issue.