For the past few days, the news headlines have been on fire. This is because of the recent issues and disagreements between the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and the transport network vehicle services Grab and Uber.
This piece aims to side with none of the above-mentioned parties. Its only objective is to bring to light the sides of both parties so the Filipino commuting public can have a better understanding of what's going on. It is encouraged that you, the reader, voice out your opinions regarding the matter by way of the comment section below. May the best judgement and understanding guide us all.
On one hand, LTFRB presented this argument:
Uber, Grab Broke The Rules by Tolerating Colorums --- LTFRB
Metro Manila --- If Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) want to engage in the business of public transportation, they need to follow the rules just like any other type of public utility vehicles (PUVs).
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) made this stand amid an online petition to “lift the suspension” against TNCs such as Uber and Grab. The LTFRB clarified that ride-hailing services have not been suspended. However, only those with Provisional Authority (PA) or Certificate of Public Convenience (CPC) may be allowed to operate.
“The TNCs agreed to fully comply with the rules at the time they were granted accreditation. With their open and candid admission, it is clear that they have broken those rules grossly, putting at risk the tens of thousands of TNVs without PA or franchise to commit colorum activities,” said LTFRB Chairman Martin B. Delgra III.
At the accreditation hearing last July 11, the LTFRB slapped a PHP5-Million fine each for Uber and Grab for its violations and ordered them to deactivate the more than 50,000 colorum Transport Network Vehicle Service (TNVS) drivers. This is on top of the ongoing moratorium imposed on accepting new applications.
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 PUJ,” Chairman Delgra said. “Where service is imbued with public interest, no less than the safety and welfare of the riding public is concerned, regulations become priority,” he added.
Delgra likewise said that TNCs have to show good faith by complying first while LTFRB creates a Technical Working Group (TWG) to discuss issues such as accreditation and pending applications, and the core issues of accountability and dynamic pricing scheme as a way to move things forward.
"They have to show good faith first. Right now, they are not cooperating,” Delgra said. “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,” he added.
More than 20 TNVs have so far been apprehended for operating without a franchise.
On the other hand, Senator JV Ejercito recently held a press conference that gave voice for the transport network vehicle services, though he made it clear that he is still not siding with any of the disagreeing parties. He iterated that he values the convenience and safety of the riding public.
For better judgement (and please, your better judgement is highly important), you may refer to Inquirer.net's full breaking news report about Ejercito's press conference. But to give you an idea, here's a snippet of what he has said.
“In the first place, LTFRB has to put in mind why these TNVS (Transport Network Vehicle Services) are thriving. Ngayong may maayos naman na serbisyo na inoffer sa publiko, pipigilan naman ng LTFRB! (Now that there is a better service being offered to the public, the LTFRB is now stopping it)”
Ladies, gentlemen, the Filipino commuting public... what are your thoughts?