Is the proposed ‘angkas pass’ the key to solving commuters’ woes?

This could go a long way
by Aris Ilagan | May 25, 2020
PHOTO: Sharleen Banzon

Ever since the national government allowed employees from select industries to report to work, many have found themselves walking or biking several kilometers to their workplace due to the ongoing ban on public transportation.

Naturally, employees end up physically drained when they reach their destination, which is of course counter-productive. This does not sit well with Olongapo City Mayor Rolen Paulino Jr., who recently joined the ranks of local government executives asking the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases to partially lift the ban on pillion riding by allowing riders to take family members as passengers.

The initial proposal was rejected by the IATF based on fears that some individuals might abuse the rule by producing fake IDs, marriage certificates, or resorting to other means. Paulino has come up with a possible solution. In an interview with DZBB, the mayor explains that he has sent a letter to the IATF to allow pillion riding in his locality on the basis that they have already prepared strict health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Unlike in other municipalities, a marriage certificate or government IDs showing the rider’s and passenger’s surnames would not automatically entitle them to pass through checkpoints.

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Kailangan kumuha sila ng certification from the barangay. Ang barangay ang magsasabi sa Mayor’s Office kung talagang magkasama itong dalawa sa bahay,” says Paulino. “Posible kasing sabihin nila mag-asawa sila on record (marriage certificate), pero magkahiwalay naman sila ng bahay.”

Aside from the single quarantine pass accorded to each household, the Olongapo City government is eyeing the use of an ‘angkas pass’ that would allow the pass holder to take one family member to work on a motorcycle. The passenger must also come up with an employer’s certificate which he would show to the barangay officials before he would qualify for an angkas pass.

Mayroon po tayong requirements, hindi po iyan ganun kadali,” Paulino reiterated.

Do you think this proposal would help address commuters’ woes?

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PHOTO: Sharleen Banzon
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