Solon pushes for granting of full authority to LTFRB in determining fare rates for TNCs, TNVS

Published January 5, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Charissa Luci-Atienza

Deputy Speaker and Sorsogon Rep. Evelina Escudero wants to grant the Land Transportation Franchise and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) the full authority to determine the fare rates of transport network companies (TNCs) and transportation network vehicles service (TNVS) and to adopt a system of refund in case of overcharging in a bid to protect the interest of the riding public.

EPA / MANILA BULLETIN
(EPA / MANILA BULLETIN)

She filed House Bill No. 5807 to regulate the public transport services, specifically the fare rates of the TNVS and TNCs, which must be always “reasonable” to all commuters.

“As state regulators has been seemingly caught unprepared to deal with this transport innovation, they grappled with the issue of regulation. With the public’s overwhelming support of the transport service, the state regulators have had a little choice but to embrace the same and adjust and adapt its system of regulation, albeit progressively in phases, ” she said in her bill’s explanatory note.

She noted that the Department of Transportation (DOTr) issued Department Order No. 2018-013 mandating the LTFRB to regulate TNCs and TNVS, and to determine the fares for the TNVS.

“However, repeated claims of overcharging of these TNCs and TNVS remain. Moreover, there appears to be no clear process of refund in case of overcharging,” Escudero said.

She said HB 5807 or the proposed Transport Network Vehicle Service and Transport Network Companies Regulation Fares Act seeks to legislate the powers of the LTFRB as provided in the department order by giving it the specific statutory mandate to determine fare rates and adopt a system of refund.

“Needless to state, it is submitted that this proposed measure can serve as a viable platform to discuss and deliberate with the end in view of striking a reasonable balance between the rights and interests of the riding public, on one hand, and the various TNVS and TNCs, on the other–and ultimately arrive at the appropriate state policy to be taken and approved by Congress,” she said.

HB 5807 provides that the TNCs and TNVS are subject to the full regulation and supervision by the LTFRB, specifically in the standardization of fare rates, system of refund in case of overcharging and adjustments of such standardized fare rates.

The fare rates for TNVS shall be determined and adjusted by the LTFRB taking into consideration the following: make or type of the vehicle; year model; time of service; and distance covered.

In the determination of such initial rates, the LTFRB shall conduct public hearings as may be deemed necessary in consultation with TNCs, TNVS, concerned drivers, and all other stakeholders.

The LTFRB, under the bill, is mandated to ensure that the public and stakeholders are duly notified of such hearings indicating the date, time, and place at least three days before the scheduled hearings.

The LFTRB is also required to provide for a “convenient and effective” system of refund in cases of overcharging of TNCs and TNVS, HB 5807 provides.

“A convenient and effective refund process shall mean the actual or physical return of the overcharged amount to a commuter within five days from the date the claim for refund is made, ” the bill said.

Violators of the proposed Act shall face fines, suspension, and cancellation of accreditation, subject to notice and hearing.

Within 90 days from the effectivity of the proposed Act, the DOTr through the LTFRB shall promulgate its necessary implementing rules and regulations.

 
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