TNVS drivers rally, question slots for Cebu

By Cris Evert Lato-Ruffolo February 02,2018

HOPE springs eternal for transport network vehicle service drivers in Cebu (TNVS Cebu), who are concerned about the 500 TNVS slots allotted for Cebu.

Ahmed Cuizon, regional director of Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board Central Visayas (LTFRB-7), said he met with LTFRB Chief Martin Delgra and other board members in Baguio City last January 31 to review the number of TNVS slots allotted to specific locations.

Cuizon said they were asked by Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade to review the figures in response to the clamor of some sectors.

“(During the meeting in Baguio), it was agreed that the government will seek the help of independent consultants who will review the figures based on the number of applicants and the daily booking records of TNCs (transport network companies), among others. These independent consultants will then recommend new figures,” he told Cebu Daily News.

Cuizon said the acceptance of applications is now moved to March 5,2018.

“I presume that the consultants’ recommendations should be done already by that time,” he told Cebu Daily News.

Close to 2,000 TNVS drivers gathered yesterday for their first Unity Day, which started with a Thanksgiving Mass at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral and was followed by a Unity Walk to Plaza Independencia.

In Plaza Independencia, TNVS Cebu conducted a press conference, a candle-lighting ceremony with an oath of commitment from TNVS drivers and testimonials.

“We are not here to complain to the LTFRB about the 500 slots. This serves as a venue for us to get to know each other and thank the LTFRB and DOTr because we heard news that they are now reviewing the figures,” said Raul Marquez, TNVS Cebu representative.

Marquez said the gathering was personally funded by TNVS drivers and not by Uber, Grab or U-Hop.

Ma. Trinidad Valenzuela, a TNVS driver, said they are also asking LTFRB to reconsider the number of slots for Cebu because many individuals will lose their means of livelihood.

“The riding public will not the enjoy the comfort, security, safety, service and convenience that TNVS offers. The number of people, who are here today, shows that Cebu in particular needs more than just 500 (slots),” she said.

Albert Montanez, another TNVS driver, said they are hoping to gather more signatures on top of the existing 30,000 individuals, who have signed the online petition to stop the implementation of LTFRB MC 2018-003, which involves 500 TNVS slots allotted to Cebu.

Cuizon, however, emphasized that there are 740 pending applications for franchisees in LTFRB-7. This number already includes more than 103 units who were earlier issued provisional authority (PA), a temporary permit to operate as a TNVS.

He said that out of the 103 units only 48 came back to renew their PAs

Outside of this number, Cuizon said there are about 6,000 units with pending applications in the offices of Grab and Uber in Cebu, which they learned about last year.

“To be honest about it, the TNCs created this problem. The deadline for applications was July 2016 but they continued to accept applications even until mid-2017,” said Cuizon.

Cuizon reiterated his call to those planning to be TNVS drivers to refrain from buying cars as they will not be granted franchises.

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