Amid holiday rush, commuters complain vs motorbike taxis operating as habal-habal riders

December 21, 2022 - 1:14 PM
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Motorists experience moderate traffic during the morning rush hour along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City on October 13, 2022 (The Philippine STAR/Jesse Bustos)

Several commuters claimed that some registered motorbike taxi riders are now operating as habal-habal riders amid the Christmas rush.

Due to frustration in booking a motorbike taxi, a Facebook user shared that she decided to go to Petron Gil Puyat to hail a habal-habal. 

In the area, she spotted several Angkas riders. 

“There, some of them are Angkas riders who turned off [their] apps and ‘di na daw mag-babyahe pero maghabal na lang,” she wrote in a post. 

She said that the motorcycle taxi rider asked for a fee higher than the amount suggested by the Angkas app. 

“From Petron to Circuit according to their app is only 51 php, I said I’ll add na lang and make it 80php but kuya habal (Angkas, yes Angkas because Angkas helmet pa pinagamit sakin) insisted 150, taking advantage of the situation saying na ‘galing ako jan, grabe traffic diyan’ pero wala naman nadaanang traffic,” the Facebook user wrote in frustration.

She also said that there were a lot of commuters at Mega Mall booking who are also having a hard time booking a ride. 

“A lot of people sa entrance were booking rides and these riders were just making kontrata wearing their uniforms pa at naghihintay na lang kung sino ang kakagat,” the Facebook user said. 

“Hindi ko na alam sino ang tama at sino ang mali. Magkakaganito ba kung okay ang sistema ng transportasyon?” she asked. 

According to another social media user, this is not an isolated case as riders from Joyride also do the same strategy.

“Totoo ‘to…nangugulang na sila kahit Joyride rider, nung wala akong ma book na Joyride rider sa app, from SM Megamall. P240 lang dapat pamasahe ko sabi niya P350 na raw, binigay ko na kase 12 na ng madaling araw nun pagod na rin ako,” the social media user said

Similar concerns were also reported across Metro Manila. 

“‘Di nako magtataka hirap na hirap maka-book ng Angkas at Joyride yung iba eh nakikita ko yung ibang rider dito sa SM Manila nagiging habal na,” a social media user said

“Angkas is turning into habal. Daming nakatambay na Angkas drivers near Market Market promoting not to book via app. Eh knowingly kapag naaksidente ka you wont be insured if you did this. Do something about this @angkas,” an online user wrote. 

“Awit sa mga kuya Joyride at Angkas, walang ma-book sa app tas makikita mo naghahabal. I mean, doble yung kikitain nila kasi for example around P70 pesos lang from Magallanes to BGC. Pero pag-habal P150 flat rate (and it was just P120 few weeks ago). Mahirap ang buhay, pero grabe na,” Twitter user said

RELATED: Convenience comes with a price: Commuters face difficulty in booking rides amid Christmas rush

Regulations

There are three authorized motorcycle taxi service providers in the country namely Angkas, Joyride and Move It. 

These businesses operate under a pilot program supervised by the Department of Transportation – Motorcycle Taxi Technical Working Group.

Motor taxis operating outside of these three companies are deemed illegal. 

Section 7 of RA 4136 classified the following as vehicles that are not allowed to transport people for a fee:

  • private passenger automobiles,
  • private trucks
  • private motorcycles, scooters, or motor wheel attachments

“Motor vehicles registered under these classifications shall not be used for hire under any circumstances and shall not be used to solicit, accept, or be used to transport passengers or freight for pay,” an excerpt from the Land Transportation and Traffic Code reads

RELATED: ‘May habol ka ba sa habal?’: Kaligtasan ng pasahero sa 2 gulong

Currently, there is no existing law that regulates motorcycle taxis. 

Recently, Rep. Romeo Acop (Antipolo, 2nd District) pushed for a bill that seeks to regulate motorcycle taxis. 

RELATED: Public advised against riding illegal ‘habal-habal’ after reports of theft