MANILA, Philippines – At 12:08 pm Saturday, December 21, local hashtag #SaveAngkas trended worldwide on Twitter.
The hashtag was in response to the possibility of 17,000 bikers for the Angkas motorcycle taxi service losing their jobs.
In a now-viral statement earlier Saturday, Angkas chief transport advocate George Royeca pointed out how users were finding it difficult to book rides in the last few weeks. He added that while Angkas would have liked to increase the number of their bikers, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) did not allow Angkas to do so.
Eto ba ang pamasko sa amin, mawalan ng trabaho? #SaveAngkas pic.twitter.com/0dKodruhAN — Angkas (@angkas) December 21, 2019
From an initial cap of 27,000 bikers for Angkas' now-extended pilot run, the government's technical working group (TWG) set a new cap of 39,000 split among Angkas and new players JoyRide and Move It – 10,000 bikers for Metro Manila and 3,000 bikers for Metro Cebu per ride-hailing firm.
LTFRB board member retired Police Major General Antonio Gardiola Jr heads the TWG.
Filipinos online expressed anger and disappointment towards the government for this decision, as well as sympathy and praise for Angkas and its bikers, who were deemed by some as kind, helpful, and polite.
The move also reminded many of when the LTFRB shut down ride-hailing service Uber in April 2018, leaving commuters with fewer options to beat Metro Manila's terrible traffic jams. (READ: Patients die as Metro Manila traffic jams block ambulances)
Below are some netizens' reactions:
Netizens support Angkas - Curated tweets by rapplerdotcom
How do you feel about the TWG's decision? What is your commuting experience like, especially during the holidays? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section! – Rappler.com