Motorcycle service provider Angkas, reiterated on Tuesday that it welcomes competitors, but the government must remove the "anti-competitive" and "morally wrong" cap placed on the number of bikers included in the pilot run.
In a statement, Angkas hit back at the Technical Working Group (TWG) as it said that there is merit to keep the status quo for Angkas, who currently has 27,000 accredited bikers in its system.
"What we aspire for is simple. Yes, include as many new players as you want but please remove the cap per provider and make it a pool where bikers are free to choose where they want to be accredited," Angkas chief transport advocate George Royeca said.
The TWG earlier hit Angkas for its "emotional blackmail" in what the government said was an "attempt to cement [Angkas'] foothold" on the motorcycle service industry.
The Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) TWG on Friday extended the six-month pilot run of motorcycle ride-hailing operations, involving Angkas, for another three months, with the inclusion of two new players.
The inter-agency group, however, allotted a cap of 39,000 registered bikers — 10,000 bikers per Transport Network Company (TNC) for Metro Manila and 3,000 bikers per TNC for Metro Cebu operations.
Angkas, which currently has 27,000 riders on its platform, will have to share the 30,000 cap with two other platforms JoyRide and Move It.
"Our main issue here is the disenfranchisement of 17,000 Angkas bikers who will lose their jobs because of the LTFRB ruling. This equates to 17,000 families who depend on our hardworking Angkas bikers," said Royeca.
"It has been said that our 17,000 bikers could move to the two new competitors. Forcing them to do so is not only anti-competitive but is also morally wrong," he added.
According to Royeca, the two other parties JoyRide and Move It have already started to onboard their own riders, and so there is no guarantee that the remaining 17,000 bikers will be absorbed.
"As such, there is merit to keep the status quo where Angkas bikers already have a proven track record for safety while still allowing other players to come in. Both are not mutually exclusive," he explained.
"The claim that we just want a monopoly is also misleading for we have never complained about the entry of two new players, as evidenced by what I said in all my early interviews," added Royeca. —LDF, GMA News