ANGKAS Cries Foul Over the Motorcycle Ban in Osmenia Highway

About two weeks ago, I was stranded in a mall in Quezon City City for more than four hours. I've been trying to book a car while queuing at the taxi bay. It was Friday and the heavy rain caused flooding in many location. I was worried with my grocery items that would spoil, I had seafood and other meat.


Meanwhile, another lady in front of me was trying to book ANGKAS. Although it took her a while to book one, after 30 minutes or so was successful in getting a motorcycle ride. I have three grocery bags so I don't think I could take a motorcycle going home.

ANGKAS has been of great help in alleviating the traffic situation, helping commuters arrive to their destinations ahead of time. Unfortunately, I had to cross the overpass to go to other mall because my phone's signal is very weak at that particular area. Very congested! That is one of the reasons why I would rather stay at home even if I'd like to attend invitations and meet friends afterwards. I'm afraid to get stuck in traffic having experienced it many times.

ANGKAS Cries Foul Over the Motorcycle Ban in Osmenia Highway

Few days ago, we heard the news about ANGKAS on sub-400cc motorcycles being banned in Osmenia Highway. ANGKAS felt the decision was discriminating.

In a press briefing held Wednesday in Intramuros, Manila, Angkas Head for Regulatory and public Affairs George Royeca slammed the prohibition of small motorcycles on the highway, saying that the ban is not only anti-motorcycle-rider, it is also anti-poor.

With the ban, motorcycles whose engine displacement is below 400cc and which are coming from the East Service Road (Taguig City) can no longer use the northbound portion of Osmefia Highway starting from Sales Bridge (pasay City), Instead of directly heading straight to Osmefia Highway via a small road connector that crosses the pNR track, the small motorcycles must divert to Pasong Tamo Extension going to their destination in Pasay, Makati, or Manila.

Royeca added that the ban will affect a lot of commuters that rely on these critical roads. He stated that their Angkas biker-partners will have to do detours into roads that are usually jampacked with vehicles, forcing them to go through heavy traffic with an average of 45-minutes to 1 hour in addition!

“What’s worse is that the ban also affects commuters who will have to go the longer way resulting in a longer travel time and higher fares because of the detours,” Royeca noted. “The move is therefore also anti-commuter.”

Skyway Administration

Royeca also pointed to Skyway O&M as the one responsible for the ban. Skyway O&M is a private corporation designated by the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) to operate and maintain tolled roads under the South Metro Manila Skyway Project (SMMS).

He, however, stressed that Osmena Highway is not a tolled road and, as such, is excluded from the list of expressways where sub-400cc motorcycles are banned. “Osmena Highway, therefore, cannot be covered by the TRB”, as claimed. “No private corporation has the right to dictate the use of public roads“…emphasizing that the ban was implemented without any studies.

Biker Groups Echo the Sentiments

According to Angkas Operations Manager David Medrana, there are currently over 27,000 Angkas riders, most of whom are based in Metro Manila. These riders use motorcycles whose engine displacements range from 100cc to 200cc.

“There are only very few motorcycle riders in Metro Manila who have 400cc motorcycles. This ban is clearly discriminatory,” Medrana claimed.

Jobert Bolarios of the Motorcycle Rights Organization (MRO) also denounced the ban,
saying that it is anti-poor.
“The ban will benefit only moneyed individuals who can aff ord big, expensive motorcycles and four-wheeled vehicles, while displacing those that only have small, sub-400cc bikes,” Bolarios said. “This is unfair and clearly one-sided,” he added.
For his part, Atty. Ariel Inton, former LTFRB board member and current member of the Lawyers for Commuter Safety and protection, echoed the others’ sentiments.
“That long stretch of the Osmena Highway is a critical thoroughfare leading to key areas like Manila, Makati, Pasay City, and Taguig and banning small motorcycles there will greatly be an inconvenience to commuters who use motorcycle taxis daily,” Inton claimed. “Since that long stretch of Osmenia Highway is not tolled, it should be open to all motorists regardless of vehicle type,” he added.

While this is still in effect, I feel sorry for commuters in the South taking ANGKAS and passing by Osmena Highway. How about you? What are your thoughts about this? Are you affected with the Motorcycle Ban in Osmenia Highway?


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