Angkas, JoyRide allowed to return in Metro Manila pending requirement submission

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 24) — Motorcycle ride-hailing firms Angkas and JoyRide have been allowed to resume operations in Metro Manila starting Tuesday, pending submission of some requirements.

The Motorcycle Taxi Technical Working Group or TWG said it has granted Angkas a provisional authority to operate, which is only valid until Dec. 9. Transportation Assistant Secretary Goddes Libiran said the permit only covers Metro Manila.

A provisional authority to operate was also issued to JoyRide within the same date. According to the NTF, the barrier design of the motorcycle ride-hailing company was also approved.

Meanwhile, Libiran said that another firm MoveIt has submitted its letter of compliance to the TWG on Tuesday. She added that they will be conducting inspections immediately.

The TWG stressed that Angkas still needs to comply with the requirement to provide insurance to riders and passengers and the mandatory use of thermal scanners, which remains under discussion with the National Task Force Against COVID-19. Once all requirements have been submitted, it will issue a certificate of compliance to the company.

The supposed return of Angkas on Monday under the extended motorcycle taxi pilot study was delayed due to pending requirements set by the TWG.

Angkas Chief Transport Advocate George Royeca said over 6,500 riders who have tested negative for COVID-19 are ready to ply roads eight months since the suspension of operations due to strict quarantine measures.

He said more riders will be available on the app as soon as Angkas conducts more RT-PCR swab tests.

Angkas assured commuters of their safety, saying its riders underwent a refresher course on how to effectively disinfect their motorcycles. They will also implement a 100% cashless transaction to limit the interaction between the driver and passenger.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases approved the resumption of motorcycle taxi operations on Oct. 23 and its guidelines on Nov. 9. The pilot study was supposed to end last April, but was suspended in March due to the imposition of COVID-19 quarantine measures in the country.

Libiran said Land Transportation Office Assistant Secretary Edgar Galvante will ask the House Committee on Transportation on Wednesday the details the Lower House needs as basis in order to draft the measure on the legalization of motorcycle taxi as a legal mode of public transport.

Among the salient points in the IATF-approved guidelines is the implementation of full cashless payment to minimize physical contact.

Passengers are also now required to bring their own helmet with a visor when riding a motorcycle taxi. The visor will serve as the passenger's face shield for protection against the coronavirus.