To support drivers of the motorcycle ride-sharing application Angkas, several bike riders’ groups held a “unity ride” along EDSA on Sunday, blowing their horns at the same time to protest a plan to put license plates on the front end of the two-wheeled vehicles.
This came days after the Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order against a Mandaluyong Court decision that barred authorities from arresting drivers operating under the popular ride-hailing platform.
The motorcade stretched for over a kilometer on EDSA’s northbound lane from the People Power Monument at White Plains in Quezon City.
Angkas riders are asking the government to legalize motorcycle ride-sharing, saying this was a source of livelihood for around 25,000 motorcycle riders who use the platform.
In a press conference that followed the motorcade, representatives from Angkas said that while they would follow the court order, they are still negotiating with the government to allow them to operate freely.
They pointed out the need for ride-sharing apps to provide alternative modes of transportation amid heavy traffic and a lack of public utility vehicles.
Motorbike riders also urged the government to reconsider a plan to put license plates on the front of motorcycles, saying this posed a safety risk to riders and other road users.
The Motorcycle Rights Organization, which organized the “Unity Ride,” said strong winds can tear off a license plate mounted in front of a motorcycle, and possibly injure riders and other people along the road.
A Senate bill earlier proposed mandating the Land Transportation Office to issue bigger and reflectorized license plates that must be placed in both front and rear parts of motorcycles, apparently in a move to deter “riding-in-tandem” crimes and assassinations.
Angkas representatives also said they will submit documentary evidence to the courts to strengthen their defense, showing relevant data that would prove their drivers are well-trained to operate their motorcycles safely.
Passengers themselves could also file complaints against their drivers on instances of misbehavior or reckless driving, Angkas officials added.
The Supreme Court had ordered Mandaluyong Judge Carlos Valenzuela and the operator of Angkas to comment on the LTFRB and Department of Transportation’s petition for certiorari within 10 days after receiving the notice.
Angkas operations were suspending in November 2017 as regulators cited the riders’ lack of a business permit. They also said it disapproved the use of motorcycles in ride-sharing services due to safety concerns. But Angkas resumed its operations last September following the Mandaluyong court’s ruling.
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