The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has warned motorcycle groups in the city that are planning to provide the “angkas” or back ride-hailing service not to pursue the scheme because it is “illegal”. 

Alberto Suansing, assistant secretary of the Department of Transportation (DOTr), in an exclusive interview with Palawan News on Wednesday morning, warned the public that the motorcycle “angkas” service remains illegal under Republic Act (RA) 4136, pointing out that the issuance of franchise to operate is “not under the purview of the local government unit (LGU)”.

“That’s still illegal and we are still deliberating on that. Whether motorcycles are allowed to be a public utility vehicle (PUV) is not within the purview of the LGU. They cannot give franchise,” Suansing reiterated.

Suansing’s cautionary advice came in the wake of motorcycle group Backride Palawan’s plan to establish the “angkas” service on February 17 in the city due to lack of tricycles plying the national roads.

The lack of tricycles was due to the nationwide ban ordered by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) for the Highway Patrol Group (HPG) to implement starting February 6.   

Lawyer Arnel Pedrosa, legal officer and city administrator, in a separate interview, stressed that the endorsement before the City Council will still undergo regular measures on the issuance of the license to operate.

“Mahirap siguro ‘yong [target operation date] nila. Kaka-receive lang namin ng letter and that is still up for decision ng Sangguniang [Panlungsod],” Pedrosa said.

Vergel Dela Fuerta, Backride Palawan founder, in a press statement on Monday, said their inaugural operation on February 17 is in line with the recent tricycle ban in the city.

Backride Palawan has started the recruitment of “biker-partners” which it will orient on rates and policies. However, the schedule for this has not been identified yet.

Backride Palawan has yet to comment on the legalities of their operation despite multiple attempts for an interview as of press time.


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is a desk editor and senior reporter of Palawan News. He covers politics, environment, tourism, justice, and sports. In his free time, he enjoys long walks with his dog, Bayani.