First “Angkas Safety Fiesta” held at Plaza Independencia in Cebu City.
In a recent trip to Metro Manila, we got stuck in traffic that made me conclude it was worse there compared to that in Metro Cebu.
I have that impression which I wrote in my columns in Superbalita and a local business weekly until friends talked about the hours they spend in the commute to northern Metro Cebu towns.
Records from the Land Transportation Office Region VII (LTO-7) showed that over half a million motor vehicles and motorcycles in its registry for Cebu Province as of December 2017. In 2018, this number grew to around 800,000.
Moreover, in a recent study by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the unresolved traffic congestion in Metro Cebu has resulted in at least P1.1 billion in economic losses a day.
It seems, even well-to-do young people have turned to Angkas with the worsening traffic situation in Metro Cebu, to survive the daily gridlocks and reach their destinations on time.
Angkas, a popular motorcycle taxi ride-hailing service, has become heaven-sent to many commuters with the increasing business activity in this business district in central Philippines. Industrialization has brought with it an increase in the number of vehicles plying the streets and the consequent traffic jams in and around the area.
“Traffic is a problem that affects all social classes,” businessman and Angkas advocate Gilbert Olan stressed during a press conference at the recent “Angkas Safety Fiesta.”
“Rich and poor alike, we are all affected by the traffic problem and are all burdened by its economic and social costs,” he added.
“As a Cebuano, dili ko ganahan sa sobrahan nga katrapik sa atoang Sugbu. Mao ning pirti gyud makalagot sa atoang tanan (As a Cebuano, I hate that our city is plagued by heavy traffic. It’s become increasingly frustrating for all of us),” Olan stressed. “This is exactly the reason why Angkas was born, to alleviate the commuting problems of Cebuanos,” he added.
“Angkas is an innovative and timely traffic solution that Cebuanos need and we are happy to offer this service to help commuters reach their destinations in a fast, convenient, and affordable way,” said Angeline Tham, Angkas Founder and CEO.
Tham adds that, Angkas biker-partners are strictly screened and are given thorough safety training before being allowed to service passengers. The Angkas bikers and their passengers are also entitled to insurance in every trip.
“We are all aware of how Angkas puts a premium on the safety of the passengers, the bikers, and everyone else on the road,” she noted. “And this is something that we are proud of.”
In line with their effort to ensure the safety of the biker-partners and their passengers, Angkas held the very first “Angkas Safety Fiesta” in Cebu last Sunday at the Plaza Independencia, Cebu City. The 12-hour event, which started at 10 a.m., featured a safety seminar and skills training session for their biker-partners, a dental mission, free haircut and massage for the participants, and a Gymkhana tournament.
The Angkas Safety Fiesta also served as an onboarding activity for new Angkas biker-partners, with the objective of being able to service more Cebuano commuters at a time.
As an added treat for the bikers and their families, a musical concert was held featuring popular artists such as Andrew E. and Cueshe as well as upcoming acts like the D7G Girls, Jay R Siaboc, Crazy Duo Jr., and the Maka Girls. The show, which was hosted by DJ Chixie and DJ Ringo, was open to the public.
“Our over 5,000 Angkas biker-partners in Metro Cebu are more than prepared to take on the task of ferrying commuters to where they need to go,” Olan declared. “And this is just the beginning,” he added, stressing that while traffic continues to plague Metro Cebu, Angkas will continue to help Cebuanos by not only providing an efficient transport option, but also providing a decent means of livelihood for motorcycle owners.