Gatchalian urges LTFRB to review Grab PH fare matrix

Robie de Guzman   •   December 17, 2019   •   346

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Sherwin Gatchalian is asking the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to re-assess the fare matrix of ride-hailing company Grab Philippines amid reports of sudden price surge.

In a statement issued Tuesday, Gatchalian said he wants to see a logical basis why the ride-hailing firm imposes such high fare rates and for the LTFRB “to make sure rules on price surging is being followed.”

“The high fare is killing the festive mood of many Filipino commuters. We don’t want to let Grab play the Grinch who stole Christmas from Juan de la Cruz because of high fare,” he said.

The LTFRB in August approved the fare matrix, which allows Transportation Network Vehicle Services (TNVS) companies to charge a flag down rate of up to P40 for car sedans, up to P50 for premium sport utility vehicles (SUV), and up to P30 for hatchbacks or sub-compact vehicles.  

The Board also allowed a P15 additional charge per kilometer for sedans, P18 for SUVs, and P13 for hatchbacks, aside from the P2 charge per minute of travel. It also allowed TNVS firms to double their per kilometer and per minute charge through surge pricing.

The lawmaker noted Grab’s earlier explanation that it is currently working on a “very limited number of drivers to serve exponentially high demand.”

But Gatchalian wants the company to explain why it has imposed surge pricing “even in the wee hours of the morning when the demand is low and there are fewer vehicles on the road.”

In view of this issue, Gatchalian cited the importance of having real competition in the ride-hailing industry to force Grab to lower its rate and provide more options for commuters.

“Without competition in the hail-riding industry, our poor commuters will always be at the mercy of high fares,” he said.

PUV operators ask LTFRB to remove P5,000 penalty vs drivers for not wearing facemasks while on duty

Maris Federez   •   February 19, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Metro Manila jeepney operators asked the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to remove the P5,000.00 fine being imposed on public utility vehicles (PUV) drivers for not wearing facemasks while on transport.

Under the LTFRB memorandum circular 2020-05, drivers and operators are required to wear facemasks as part of their safety precaution against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Alliance of Concerned Transport Operators (ACTO) President Efren de Luna said they are always ready to take heed on the said measure, except that they are having difficulty finding available face masks in the market.

“Ang problema ho dun walang mabilhan, pag walang raw hong mask, may bayad ng 5000, may fine na penalty na P5,000,” de Luna said.

He pointed out that even the Department of Health has advised that due to the shortage in the supply of facemasks, priority is given to health workers and patients on its usage.

The LTFRB, on the other hand, said during the hearing at the House Committee on Transportation that it will review the said measure and will take the request into consideration. — (from the report of Vincent Arboleda) /mbmf

Authorities nab over 170 vehicles in anti-colorum operations in Metro Manila

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 5, 2020

Over 170 vehicles were apprehended during the one-time big-time anti-colorum operations of the Highway Patrol Group (HPG), Land Transportation and Franchising Board (LTFRB) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

The operation was conducted in 15 areas in Metro Manila on Tuesday evening (February 4).

According HPG Director PBGen. Eliseo Cruz, it was carried out under the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte and Philippine National Police Chief PGen. Archie Gamboa.

“[There was] cooperation [with the] LTO [and] HPG to train our personnel [so] eventually our HPG personnel will deputize with the LTO, to implement to enforce traffic law and regulation,” he said.

Apprehended vehicles include those with no plate number and those using unauthorized blinkers. Authorities also apprehended overloaded trucks.

Among the over 300 trucks inspected, 78 of them were overloaded. Meanwhile, 68 vehicles received temporary operations permit due to various violations including not wearing a helmet or seatbelt.—AAC (with reports from Bernard Dadis)

Gatchalian calls on Chinese schools to suspend classes

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 31, 2020

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian is urging Chinese schools to suspend classes after the Department of Health (DOH) confirmed on Thursday (January 30) the first case of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in the country.

“Because the case of mainland Chinese coming from China, the probability of them carrying the coronavirus is very high. So immediately, Chinese schools should suspend their classes, especially the ones who have high number of Chinese students,” he said.

Gatchalian also called on the government to consider a complete ban on travelers coming from China.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday (January 31) imposed a travel ban from Wuhan City and Hubei province, China which is the ground zero novel coronavirus.

“Upon the recommendation of DOH [Department of Health] Secretary Francisco Duque, the President has issued a travel ban to Chinese nationals coming from the Hubei province of China where the nCoV originated, as well as in other places in China where there is a spread of the disease,” Presidential Spkoesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.—AAC

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