(UPDATED – 10:48 P.M.) MANILA – The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) clarified Tuesday that it does not intend to stop the ride-sharing services in the country amid its crackdown on transport network vehicle services (TNVS) operating without certificates of public convenience (CPC) or provisional authority (PA).
In a press conference Tuesday, LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra III reiterated that the board only wants to regulate the operations of transport network companies (TNCs) Uber and Grab for the benefit of commuters.
“There is a need for regulation. We are appealing for TNCs to come forward and make yourselves compliant,” according to Delgra.
“We would like to emphasize that we are not against ride sharing services in the country,” he added.
The LTFRB appealed to Uber and Grab not to turn the commuters against them, as they are duty bound to enforce the law.
He was apparently alluding to a petition signed by an initial 6,000 netizens on online platform change.org, appealing to authorities to stop restricting the TNCs.
In a statement, the board said that the TNCs must show good faith by complying first as it creates a Technical Working Group (TWG) that will settle various concerns such as accreditation and pending applications, accountability and dynamic pricing scheme.
“The Board has welcomed the creation of a TWG to help address the demand of such mode of public transport in a rational, comprehensive and systematic manner. We expect the TNCs to be candid, accurate, complete and transparent in submitting all the data and information the Board will need in addressing the issues,” according to the LTFRB.
The LTFRB fined Uber and Grab P5 million each for violations, and ordered them to deactivate more than 50,000 colorum Transport Network Vehicle Service (TNVS) drivers.
Starting July 26, Grab and Uber drivers without franchises will be fined P120,000 and their vehicles impounded for three months should they continue to operate.
Apart from operating without franchises, some drivers are also accused of trading franchises among themselves. TNCs have also failed to comply with other requirements such as IDs for drivers and a company signage on the vehicles. There have also been numerous complaints on rude and abusive TNVS drivers.
“We cannot have one rule regarding colorum for them and another rule for the rest of the modes of public transport, i.e. bus, UV express, taxi and PUJs. Where service is imbued with public interest, no less than the safety and welfare of the riding public is concerned, regulations become priority,” according to Delgra.
In a text message to reporters, LTFRB board member and spokesperson Aileen Lizada said that Uber had paid the fine Tuesday, with Grab set to follow suit by Wednesday.
The LTFRB will also establish a one stop shop as well as a help desk in its central office in Quezon City to process CPCs that are about to expire until end of July 2017. It shall also issue a memorandum circular (MC) extending the validity of the CPC from one year to two years and direct TNCs to extend their respective accreditation of their TNVS.
Both Uber and Grab have said that they will not deactivate their partner drivers for the meantime as they seek to coordinate with the government to craft policies that aim to ensure a level playing field among TNVS and taxi operators and improve the quality of public transportation in the country.
More than 20 TNVs have so far been apprehended for operating without a franchise.
Of the estimated 56,000 drivers of the two TNCs, only more than 3,000 were given franchises by the LTFRB until it imposed a moratorium last year.
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