Mandaluyong RTC issues 72-hour TRO vs TWG MC Taxi policy
Bikers of motorcycle taxi mobile app Angkas has secured a 72-hour Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against the policy issued by the inter-agency technical working group (TWG).
The said policy is about the limiting the number of Angkas bikers to 10,000 in Manila and 3,000 in Cebu to be under the study.
Citing the grave and irreparable injury that these bikers stand to suffer and they extreme urgency of the situation, Mandaluyong Regional Trial Court judge Ofelia Calo ruled to grant TRO, which restrains the LTFRB and the Department of Transportation (DOTr) from implementing the Revised Guidelines on the motorcycle taxi pilot program that limits the number of bikers.
“A 72-hour Temporary Restraining Order is hereby issued upon posting of a bond in the amount of Three Hundred Thousand Pesos (P300,000.00), enjoining the respondents and/or any other person/s acting for or on their behalf, from implementing the Revised General Guidelines for the Pilot Implementation of Motorcycle Taxis insofar as it puts a cap on the number of bikers that Angkas is entitled to and from performing any act that limits and impairs their rights to deal with an continue with their contracts with Angkas,” the Order stated. (see the full Order here).
Based on the December 19 Revised Guidelines of the inter-agency TWG which was overseeing the implementation of the pilot program for motorcyle taxis, motorcycle taxi service providers Angkas, as well as its competitors Move It and Joyride are given 10,000 allocation each for Metro Manila an 3,000 each for Cebu.
Angkas claims that they already have an existing 27,000 bikers in Metro Manila.
Petitioner Angkas riders, immediately filed a Petition for Injunction before the Mandaluyong RTC, which granted the 72-hour TRO.
According Calo, the "17,000 riders who have been earlier accredited by Angkas and allowed to participate in the pilot implementation will suffer grave irreparable injury as they would lose their jobs."
Meanwhile, Rommel Villanueva, one of the bikers who filed the Petition, expressed elation over the said ruling.
“This proves that justice is on our side. We are only trying to make an honest living and helping commuters every day to get to their destinations fast and safe,” he said.
“Why should the government stop us? Why should our families go hungry? We are not doing anything wrong,” he added
On the other hand, the TWG, headed by LTFRB Board Member Antonio Gardiola Jr., has yet to receive the official copy of the 72-hour TRO.
The TWG noted that it is also the same court where "Angkas (DBDOYC) also obtained an injunction last year, but was later on reversed by the Supreme Court in GR. No. 242860."
They also said that they are currently coordinating with the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) for the proper disposition of the case.
"Whatever legal process we will have to go through, we, at the TWG, will always be guided by our respect and abeyance for due process of law," the TWG stated.
The group claimed that their "action and disposition will remain constant amid this new legal challenge."
"The TWG is confident that it stands on solid legal ground in its administration of the Motorcycle Taxi Service Pilot Implementation program, and we remain steadfast in carrying out our mandate, especially in ensuring that the SAFETY and WELFARE of the riding public is at stake, " it concluded.