With the expiration just this Monday of the accreditation of the mobile app-driven Grab alternative taxi service, thousands of Grab drivers are facing a bleak and uncertain future if the issue doesn’t get resolved in due time with with the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).
For Des Garcia, a driver-operator of what the government technically defines as TNVS, or Transport Network Vehicle Service, the livelihood prospect is going to take a big hit: “What if it all goes kaput? There are associated investment costs to deal with. How do you go on? We have families to support.”
While the in-country management of the multinational Grab organization has submitted its accreditation paperwork, apparently LTFRB has not taken appropriate and prompt action.
Brian Cu, Country Manager of Grab, said: “We would be happier if the process moves faster, so that nothing is left hanging. We do understand that LTFRB might have too much on its hands.”
The accreditation for a similar service, Uber, lapses this August.
It’s not just Grab’s drivers who are faced with uncertainty. The service has cultivated quite a following among the riding public, and thousands of users and commuters do not relish the idea of having to make radical adjustments anew to the transportation routines and arrangements that they have become accustomed to in dealing with the mind-boggling public transportation mess hounding Metro Manila.
The LTFRB’s inaction on thousands of applications for provisional permits to operate TNVS vehicles is the crux of this industrial bottleneck, not just for Grab but also for Uber and other operators like UHop.
LTFRB has scheduled public hearing to discuss the issues.
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