Technology, Media & Telecoms

SC halts Motorcycle Ride-Hailing App Angkas Ops

Date: 12 December 2018; Type: Legal News; Source: Philippine News Agency

MANILA, Dec 12 (PNA) - Online motorcycle backride service provider Angkas will have to suspend operations following a temporary restraining order (TRO) handed down by the Supreme Court (SC).

In a two-page order dated Dec. 5 and released Wednesday, the SC's Second Division ruled in favor of a petition filed by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and the Department of Transportation (DOTr) seeking to stop the operations of Angkas run by DBDOYC Inc.

"The Court, without necessarily giving due course thereto, resolves to issue a temporary restraining order, effective immediately and continuing until further orders from this Court, enjoining public respondent Judge Carlos A. Valenzuela, RTC (Regional Trial Court), Br.213, Mandaluyong City, the private respondent (DBDOYC Inc.), their agents, representatives and anyone acting on their behalf, from implementing the assailed RTC Order dated 20 August 2018," read the notice of resolution signed by SC Clerk of Court lawyer Edgar Aricheta.

The LTFRB earlier announced a crackdown against the service for lack of necessary franchise to operate and elevated the case to the SC following a writ of preliminary injunction issued by the Mandaluyong RTC Branch 213 last August in favor of Angkas.

The High Court's order also directed the operators of Angkas to submit its comment to the petition of transport authorities within 10 days from notice.

In September, the Mandaluyong RTC directed LTFRB and DOTr to stop interfering with Angkas’ operations pending the hearing and resolution of DBDOYC Inc.'s petition for declaratory relief.

The lower court's order also prohibited the apprehension of Angkas bikers when they are in “lawful pursuit of their work.”

Angkas shut down its operations in November last year after the LTFRB and the Makati City government closed its main training center.

Responding to the order, the LTFRB is set to issue a resolution that will order the apprehension of bikers of the motorcycle ride-hailing firm.

“In line with the TRO issued by the SC, the LTFRB will release a resolution ordering enforcers to implement the SC order and for ‘Angkas’ operators and bikers to cease and desist their service to avoid apprehension. Apprehension of ‘Angkas’ bikers will commence upon issuance of the LTFRB resolution within the day,” the LTFRB said in a statement.

The TRO which was received by the DOTr Legal Affairs Office on Wednesday is effective immediately and will be implemented until further orders from the high court.

“The DOTr and LTFRB express its gratitude to the high court for issuing the TRO, as it is in line with our efforts to prioritize the safety and security of the riding public through proper implementation of the law,” the Board said.

The LTFRB stressed that motorcycles are not allowed to operate as public transport services under Republic Act 4136 or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code.

“Our position remains the same – motorcycles registered in the service are not authorized to conduct business and offer public transport under Republic Act 4136. For them to be allowed, the law has to be amended by Congress. Additionally, the safety of patrons and commuters are also put at risk, as motorcycles are not considered a safe mode of public transport,” according to the LTFRB.

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