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Angkas on the rebound as transport needs return

Angkas on the rebound as transport needs return

By Alden M. Monzon, Inquirer Business

Motorcycle taxi and logistics company Angkas said it was now seeing signs of a strong recovery from the pandemic as transportation needs return, driving up demand for their services.

George Royeca, CEO of Angkas, told the Inquirer on Friday that downloads of their ride-hailing app have reached 5 million so far, with the number of their bikers higher than ever and now approaching the 30,000 mark.

“The motorcycle taxi industry is in rebound. We are back in business. The postpandemic [period] has really shown a steady increase in the requirements of not only transportation, but also logistics,” he said at the sidelines of the MSME Summit in Manila organized by the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship. “We haven’t seen the full recovery yet because our schools have not fully resumed yet. They are just now going back to having [in-person] classes,” he said further.

On Aug. 22, millions of students returned to in-person classes as both public and private schools reopened after nearly three years of online education due to the global health crisis.

Additionally, Royeca said that employees were also starting to go back physically to their workplaces after a few years of work-from-home arrangements with their employers.

“There are also a lot of companies now requiring employees to go to the office once to thrice a week. These are some of the things that we expect to add on eventually,” he said further.

As for attracting more bikers to partner with them, Royeca said there were currently around 18 million motorcycle drivers in the Philippines, which illustrates the large potential of growing their service fleet much more.

“All of them do side hustles. There’s a lot of room for growth. If you go to the provinces, the ratio between cars and motorcycles is 18 is to 1,” he said, noting that motorcycles were the most used mode of transportation by people outside the Philippines’ urban metropolises.

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“All of these are really untapped. We hope that we are able to get the Angkas model to expand to these areas so that we can provide opportunities to so many bikers who need jobs,” he said further.

Royeca said they have also gotten a positive reception from the Marcos administration, which took office in June, hoping that the government could work together with them to further grow the motorcycle taxi and logistics industry.

“Right now we are very happy with the thrust of the current administration. President Marcos has, time and again, said that there is an importance in technology, digitalization and of course, the revitalization of the MSMEs,” Royeca, adding that every new rider or partner merchant under their program is essentially a new entrepreneur.

Aside from passenger transport services, Angkas also offer deliveries and ‘pabili’ purchases.