Angkas drivers’ “libreng sakay” campaign for MRT commuters stopped by MMDA

Makes you want to ask: How are we addressing the traffic situation again?

A few weeks ago, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) suspended the ride-sharing app, Angkas, on the grounds that it was operating without a legal franchise. The company argued that the government has not been processing their application for months despite their efforts to train their drivers to provide safe and convenient transportation to the public.

As a form of protest, at least 200 Angkas drivers went to the MRT North Avenue station to give out free rides to commuters. But their good deed was short lived, as the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) stopped them from continuing their “libreng sakay” campaign.

According to the drivers, they wanted to send a message to LTFRB about their current plight. There are over 15,000 Angkas drivers whose main income is from the ride-hailing app who are greatly affected by the suspension. They launched this campaign not only to appeal to the government, but to also show how Angkas helps commuters deal with the heavy traffic jam they encounter everyday as well as the numerous incidents in the MRT that has left many passengers stranded or late for work and school.

Many commuters availed of the free rides, and Angkas wanted to continue the campaign and extend their service to other stations as well until the government lifts their suspension. But since the drivers were stopped by MMDA from continuing their free ride service, they had to comply.

In their official Twitter account, the company created a thread: “LIFE WITHOUT ANGKAS: *sad and time-consuming thread* to express how they’re holding up.

Commuters also expressed how they missed the convenience that Angkas provides them to beat the traffic:

While others are begging that Angkas will be allowed to operate again.

The company already released an official statement two weeks ago and we do hope that they’ll find their place in Manila traffic real soon!

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