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Sarmiento to LTFRB: Consider public welfare in dealing with Angkas

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House committee on transportation chairman Edgar Mary Sarmiento on Sunday said the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) should consider public welfare first before making any decision to limit the number of motorcycle taxis operating in Metro Manila.

The Samar lawmaker said that cutting the number of motorcycle taxis under Angkas will economically dislocate thousands of riders and would certainly deny commuters a “well-tested alternative transport,” especially as Metro Manila’s traffic is getting worse every day.

“Ang concern ko talaga napaka-simple. Pag pinigil po natin ito eh ang magrereklamo po ay ang mamamayan,” he said in a radio interview.

“Hirap po ang mamamayan. Apat na oras sila nakatengga sa bus, sa umaga pa lang, pag-uwi naman apat na naman na oras dahil nga congested na congested ang kalsada natin,” Sarmiento said.

“Habang di pa po naisasaayos ang efficiency ng mass transport, kelangan muna natin ang support ng isang industriya, isang sektor kung saan tinutulungan po nila ang mamamayan na umabot naman sila sa pinupuntahan nila sa madaling panahon,” he added.

“Eh hindi natin mapipigil ito dahil ang magrereklamo po dito ay ang mamamayan at mananakay,” Sarmiento said.

Instead of reducing the number of motorcycle taxis operating under Angkas, the government should just maintain the status quo while allowing other players to come in, he said.

Sarmiento stressed, however, that before allowing the other players to operate, they should go through the same process of accreditation just like what Angkas did before it was allowed to conditionally operate to ensure that their riders are properly trained.

He said his committee will try to fast track deliberations of at least 15 pending House bills that are related to the operation of motorcycle taxis.