Act on pending franchise applications for Grab and Uber
LAND Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Chairman Martin Delgra III instructed yesterday the LTFRB-7 officials to resolve the 815 pending applications for the issuance of the Transport Network Vehicle Services (TNVS) franchise.
Delgra, who held a press conference in Cebu City, reminded the TNVS operators to also comply with the requirements.
“Walay na-issue nga franchise? Lihoka na ninyo basta naay pending applications,” Delgra told Reynaldo Elnar, officer in charge of LTFRB-7.
(There were no franchises issued? Work on it as long as there are pending applications.)
Delgra met with TNVS and taxi operators behind closed doors yesterday before the press conference.
Elnar informed Cebu media that there are 815 pending applications for the issuance of TNVS franchise in Cebu, 693 for Uber and 122 for Grab, which are the Transport Network Vehicle Companies (TNVC).
LTFRB asked the TNVCs to submit a master list of their operators and drivers for monitoring purposes.
In a separate interview with Cebu Daily News yesterday, Elnar explained that no franchise was issued after the suspension of new applications last September 1, 2016.
Elnar said that they were waiting for directives from their central office to prevent any technical issues.
While waiting for the directives, LTFRB-7 issued provisional authorities to the applicants which allowed them to operate for 45 days, which is also renewable. The validity for a franchise lasts for one year.
Of 815 pending applications, only 103 operators processed their application for the provisional authorities.
Twenty-one of 103 operators renewed their provisional authorities.
The reason why only few were given provisional authorities is their noncompliance of the requirements such as operator’s data sheet, statement of financial capability, location map of garage and certificates from Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
“We will discuss this with attorney (Edwin) Antipuesto, our hearing officer for the process of the applications,” Elnar said in a phone interview.
Delgra said the number of colorum vehicles apprehended have risen compared to the last two years.
“Till now we are proud to say that compared to last two and half years we have actually apprehended about almost 300 percent during the first year in our office,” Delgra said.
The apprehension also translates to almost 200 percent in fines and penalties in relation to colorum which include Grab and Uber who paid P5 million each.
Grab and Uber were fined P5 million each for violating the terms of their accreditation and adding new drivers despite the suspension of new applications.
He explained that LTFRB is not just going after colorum TNVS but colorum public utility vehicles as well.
Delgra explained they are supportive of the ride-sharing technology.
“There is a room for everyone especially issues on public transport since we need to meet the demand,” Delgra added.
‘Angkas is illegal’
Meanwhile, Delgra emphasized that the Angkas, also an online application for booking motorcycle rides in Cebu, is illegal and should be stopped.
He said motorcycles are not a viable mode of public transport and no franchise is issued for motorcycles because it is unsafe as a public transport.
“They should be stopped because two-wheel vehicles are unsafe for public transport. Passengers ride on them at their own risk,” Delgra said.
Angkas Barkada Cebu issued a statement last Monday, which read, “We want to provide a safe, accountable, and professional service to passengers whose needs currently are not being met.”
They also cited that in the absence of a clear policy, habal-habal or motorcycle taxis continue to proliferate without safety measures in place.
“So we welcome regulation of our industry to raise the standards for this type of service. When Uber and Grab started, car-hailing was also a new and unregulated industry that faced the same challenges as us. Today, it’s acknowledged that they provide a lot of value to commuters. We believe it’ll be the same for us,” the statement read.
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