LTFRB committed to ban colorum TNVS

Published July 9, 2019, 11:54 AM

by Patrick Garcia

By Marjaleen Ramos

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Tuesday assured Senator Grace Poe that it would remain committed to its mandate to prohibit the provision of public transport service by “colorum” Transport Network Vehicle Service (TNVS).

Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) (MANILA BULLETIN)
Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) (MANILA BULLETIN)

“On yesterday’s transport holiday among a number of Transport Network Vehicle Service (TNVS) drivers, it is misplaced to say, based on some news reports, that it was nationwide in scope, when the issue is but limited in Metro Manila. Further, reports noted as early as mid-morning that no adverse impact was felt by the riding public based on feedback from Transport Network Companies (TNCs),” the LTFRB said.

It added that prior to the declaration of the said transport holiday, the LTFRB has implemented measures to address the issues of TNVS drivers.

At least 10,000 to 15,000 drivers went offline on Monday as part of the transport holiday.

The agency said it rejected the calls to lift the deactivation of TNVS units not covered by required documents.

“Foremost, the agency heeded the call for TNVS to supplement existing modes of public transport to further serve the commuting public and, in doing so, has already extended numerous considerations in the ease of doing business — from creating an online registration platform for applicants, formation of a One-Stop-Shop processing center, to the issuance of Provisional Authority pending the issuance a Certificate of Public Convenience (CPC), for them to validly run the service in the interim,” LTFRB said.

LTFRB also said it has allowed hatchback-type units included in the master list submitted by TNC’s to ply the roads and take on passengers as regular TNVS provided they comply with certain conditions.

“TNVS operate only in Metro Manila, charge reasonable fare, and operators of these units should transition to compliant units within a period of three years. This covers hatchback-type TNVS units that are part of the 55,000 master list and whose applications have been filed from March 5 until December 15, 2018, provided they comply with the basic documentary requirements in the filing of application for franchise,” it stated.

LTFRB added that it will remain open for dialogue, citing that before the invitation from the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA), it has already scheduled a dialogue with TNVS operators, TNCs, and other stakeholders today.

“While the LTFRB is willing to listen to the grievance of applicants and respects their right to organize and protest, the agency stands by its mandate to prohibit the provision of public transport service by ‘colorum’ TNVS. These units operate without franchise and outside of their platform, and therefore have no legitimate authority to take on passengers or ply public roads and spaces. To do so otherwise is to renege on the LTFRB’s basic mandate as a regulatory body,” the agency said.

“The agency appreciates that Senator Poe is looking after the welfare of TNVS operators and the riding public, our most important stakeholders, and we ask for her continued support to the same mandate of the agency to regulate land-based public transportation, and to safeguard the welfare and interests of all stakeholders, especially the commuting public.”

Poe on Monday hit the LTFRB for its inconsistent policies for the ride-sharing industry.

She reminded the agency to strike a balance between regulating the transport sector and serving the commuters.

“While we respect the LTFRB’s mandate to regulate the industry and ensure the safety of the riding public, we also have to recognize that calls to make the process easier according to the Ease of Doing Business Act are only for the good of everyone,” she said.

“These are issues which have been raised in previous hearings of the Senate Committee on Public Services. What we should look into is not just the necessity of the requirements issued, but the scope of what the LTFRB can regulate and the consistency of its regulations,” she pointed out.

The senator also vowed to tackle in the Senate measures that would provide for laws governing TNVS operations. (With a report from Vanne Terrazola)