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Angkas must be regulated, not banned —former LTFRB official

Motorcycle ride-sharing service Angkas must be regulated, not banned, a former Board Member of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) said Friday.

Safety concerns should not prompt the government to ban Angkas, because riding a motorcycle is safe unless the driver does not know how to drive safely, said Ariel Inton, the former LTFRB official who is now president of the Lawyers for Commuters Safety and Protection.

On December 12, the Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) blocking a Mandaluyong court’s decision to stop the government from arresting Angkas drivers.

The High Court said the TRO on Angkas operations “prevents an injustice to petitioners whose regulatory powers are being pared down.” The petitioners were the LTFRB.

The SC decision paved the way for the board and other law enforcement units to start apprehending Angkas drivers.

“Sa batas, bawal ang motorsiklo na ipasada kasi registered ito na private vehicle. Since 2008, may nag-fafile na ng bill sa Kongreso for regulation of motorcycle for hire. So the right thing to do is to regulate it, not ban it,” Inton said in an interview on GMA News’ “Balitanghali.”

“Safety should not be a concern. Kasi, tignan mo, simula noong bumalik ang Angkas, meron na bang aksidente involving an Angkas rider? Wala. Kasi highly-trained ang Angkas motorcycle drivers,” Inton noted.

The fact that motorcycles are being sold worldwide is a testament that it is safe, he said.

“Kung hindi safe ang motorsiklo, ‘di sana ‘di na ito binebenta sa buong mundo. Hindi lang nagiging safe ang motorcycle kapag hindi safe ang driving ng motorcycle driver,” Inton said.

“Ang motorsiklo, at alam iyan ng LTFRB, pang dalawahan talaga iyan. Isang driver, isang passenger,” Inton added.

In a separate statement earlier this week, Angkas said the Supreme Court decision will be putting at least 25,000 Angkas drivers out of work less than two weeks before Christmas. —Llanesca Panti/VDS, GMA News