By Erma Edera
As traffic congestion in Manila continues to worsen with the upcoming holidays, some motorcycle drivers have found a way to earn extra income.
Christopher Babor, 24, was a sales promodizer for four years before he joined as a full time rider in the motorbike-hailing company “Angkas” in March 2017.
“Papasok po ako sa trabaho tapos may namimigay ng brochure ng Angkas noon sa Makati (I was on my way to work when someone was distributing an Angkas brochure in Makati),” he recalled.
Babor is referring to Angkas, an app-based service that deploys motorcycles on-demand. The word ‘angkas’ roughly translates to hitching a ride with a biker and that’s exactly what the app offers.
For Babor, being an Angkas driver opened a new ‘road’ for him – a road to a better life, he said.
On a month basis, he revealed that he could bring home up to over P30,000, enough to provide for his family’s daily needs.
“Kumpara sa dati kong trabaho, minimum lang, ‘yun lang ‘yun. Mas okay ngayon dahil hawak mo ang oras. Nakadepende sa sipag ‘yung kita mo. Ikaw ang gumagawa ng sarili mong pera. Makakapundar ka kapag masipag ka. Ikaw na nga lang din ang magsasawa sa bookings (Compared to my past work, I had a minimum salary. That’s all. It’s much better now because handle my time. My earning depends on my performance. You are my making your own money. You can save, if you work hard. Sometimes, you will get tired of the bookings),” he said.
Most of his passengers are call center agents working in Bonifacio Global City and Makati City. Babor claimed that part-time riders earn up to P800 a day while full-time riders can earn P1,500 or more. Angkas gets 20 percent from every booking of its riders.
Apart from that, Angkas also provides incentives for top performers. Riders are scored based on the number of trips they had in a week and high-star ratings they received from their passengers.
“May mga katrabaho ako na nagresign sa previous work, yung iba manager na, professional, pero pinagpalit nila lalo na nung naranasan nila magpart-time sa Angkas (I have co workers who resigned from their previous work, some of them were already managers, professionals, but they chose Angkas when they experienced being a part-time rider),” he added.
Safety is a priority
Angkas provides a personal accident insurance to assure the safety of their passengers as well as to their bikers.
Riders and passengers who figure in crashes can claim the insurance as short as 15 days of confinement with complete hospital documents.
Angkas also provides helmet, raincoat during rainy days as well as a face mask and hair cap for sanitary purpose to their passengers.
“Weekly yung maintenance ng motor ko. Huwag mo tipirin ‘yun dahil hawak mo yung buhay ng ibang tao. Kahit nagmamadali na yung pasahero, inuuna ko pa rin ang safety. Minimum speed po namin ay 60 kilometers per hour (My motorcycle undergoes weekly maintenance. Don’t be frugal on that because the lives of other people are in your hands. Even if my passenger is in a hurry, safety always comes first. Our minimum speed is 60 kilometers per hour),” Babor said.
He also said that he had undergone a very “strict” training and road skills assessment at the Angkas headquarters along Chino Roces Avenue in Makati City. They also required him to secure a professional driver’s license, NBI clearance and a police or barangay clearance.
According to Babor, the Angkas community is more of a family than just a group of riders.
He shared that they constantly organize events such as basketball games and gatherings aside from a weekly meeting. There is not even a month that there was not event for riders, he said.
Babor also shared that they recently had a Biker’s Jamboree in Tanay, Rizal, a teambuilding event held annually. Their events also include outreach activities for the homeless as well as disaster response.
“Bukod sa kita, may oras ka pa para sa pamilya mo. ‘Yun kasi ang pinakaimportante. Naibibigay mo rin ang gusto nila and at the same time, nagkakaroon din ako ng maraming kaibigan na rider din. May bagong family na nabubuo, hindi lang business (Aside from your earnings, you have time for your family. That is the most important thing. You can provide what they want and at the same time you meet new friends who are also riders. A new family is created, not only just for business).”