By Alexandria San Juan
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) maintained that only qualified and compliant transport network vehicle service (TNVS) providers are allowed on the road, following appeals to temporarily allow unaccredited units to service commuters who are feeling the reduction of TNVS units.
In a statement, the transport regulatory body said proper registration of TNVS units is “imperative for the safety and security of the riding public,” adding that a process should be followed before allowing the units to hail passengers.
“Acquiring a franchise to operate as a public transport is a privilege, as it carries the responsibility and accountability of safely and securely transporting the commuting public to destinations. As such, the government must ascertain that the applicant is qualified and able to assume the duty of public transport service,” the LTFRB explained.
The agency emphasized that it is” more than willing” to grant a certificate of public convenience (CPC) or provisional authority (PA) to units that have completed the requirements.
Earlier, ride-sharing firm Grab Philippines urged the LTFRB to temporarily allow deactivated drivers to resume work to avoid a gap in the ride-hailing market.
This was after Grab removed from its platform around 5,000 partners who failed to provide documentation papers from the LTFRB to operate as TNVS, considering them as “colorum.”
However, LTFRB pointed out that it has given TNVS operators and drivers “more than ample time” to comply with the requirements in applying for CPC or a PA.
Based on its record, the LTFRB said a total of 40,522 TNVS units have already been granted with a CPC and PA, in which 29,714 units have secured provisional authority.
“This is proof that the timelines given were realistic and achievable. This is likewise proof that those who applied due diligence in compliance with state requirements are given an opportunity to participate in public transport service,” the agency added.
The LTFRB also clarified some points raised by TNVS drivers and operators group Hatchback Community regarding issues in the process of application.
According to the LTFRB, applicants are encouraged to personally file their application for TNVS franchise, proof of their personal manifestation to assume an important public responsibility to render public service.
“For ease of doing business, LTFRB allows the filing through a representative, but limited to specific family members or next of kin, who are allowed to appear in the hearing for the application of CPC,” it said.
On bank conformity, the agency explained that transport network companies (TNCs), such as Grab, previously did not disclose that the vehicles were for public transport, which is a clear violation of bank rules.
“The LTFRB went the extra mile then, and interceded in the loan application of CPC applicants through coordination with the banks, for those who were in the system of Grab and Uber at that time. New applicants, however, will have to take the official route of loan application, as should be the proper course,” the statement read.