Philippines suspends new Uber, Grab vehicle registrations as backlog mounts

admin   •   July 22, 2016   •   2620

An illustration picture shows the logo of car-sharing service app Uber on a smartphone next to the picture of an official German taxi sign in Frankfurt, September 15, 2014. REUTERS/KAI PFAFFENBACH

An illustration picture shows the logo of car-sharing service app Uber on a smartphone next to the picture of an official German taxi sign in Frankfurt, September 15, 2014.
REUTERS/KAI PFAFFENBACH

The Philippines has stopped accepting applications for new ride-sharing vehicles of Uber [UBER.UL] and Grab due to a backlog amid a government review of its policies on fare spikes, a senior official said on Friday.

The Southeast Asian nation was the first country to regulate app-based car-hailing operations after coming out with rules last year.

“It’s just the new applications that we have to suspend so we don’t have a huge amount of backlog,” said Cherie Mercado, spokeswoman of the transportation department.

Applications have ballooned to record highs, with 29,000 pending, 23,000 of which were for Uber and the rest divided between Grab and u-Hop, she said.

Mercado said the suspension was indefinite and it was not clear what changes would be required to reverse it.

“We will also review the fare scheme, the surge pricing,” she said, referring to the fluctuating fare charges which have caused friction as conventional taxis are not allowed to apply them.

The Philippines is Southeast Asia’s third fastest growing market for automobiles. The country’s motor vehicle sales jumped 25.4 percent in January to May, next only to Singapore’ 76.8 percent uptick and Vietnam’s 36.6 percent climb, data from the ASEAN Automotive Federation showed.

Uber said it respected the decision, even though it went against its goal of getting more people into fewer cars, which it said would be a plus for a notoriously gridlocked city like Manila.

“Fewer drivers on Uber leads to lower reliability of service for riders in Metro Manila, who have come to rely on Uber as a viable alternative to buying and driving their own private vehicles,” it said in a statement.

“This decision also comes at a time when we are trying to help improve the traffic situation in Metro Manila by providing an efficient method of carpooling.”

(Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales and Julian Elona; Editing by Martin Petty and Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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LTFRB to revoke franchise of PUVs involved in transport strike

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 30, 2019

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) will revoke the franchise of jeepneys and UV Express that participated in the nationwide transport strike on Monday (September 30).

The LTFRB said a franchise is a privilege with an accompanied responsibility to provide public service. An LTFRB memorandum circular also prohibits PUV drivers from participating in transport strikes.

According to LTFRB Chairman Atty. Martin Delgra, participating in transport strikes is a clear violation of the said memorandum circular.

“Kakanselahin iyong prangkisa nila, which we already have done even in the past administration na mayroon transport group, mayroong mga bus units na nag-participate sa strike kinansela rin ([We would] cancel their franchise, which we have already done even in the past administration where there were transport groups, and bus units participating in strikes) and recently last week we also have cancelled more than 20 public utility jeepney (PUJ) franchises,” he said.

The LTFRB will also recommend to the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to suspend the license of PUV drivers who participated in the transport strike.

Meanwhile, transport group Piston said they are not opposing the PUV modernization. But they oppose several provisions under the Omnibus Franchising Guidelines of the modernization program.

These include the immediate phase out of old jeepneys in exchange for government loan.—AAC (with reports from Mai Bermudez)

Transport groups to push through with planned transport strike on Sept. 30

Robie de Guzman   •   September 27, 2019

Demonstrators hold signs protesting against an alleged government plan to phase-out old jeepneys (local minibus) in Caloocan City, north of Manila, Philippines, 16 October 2017. EPA-EFE/ROLEX DELA PENA

MANILA, Philippines – Transport groups on Friday said it will still push through with their planned nationwide transport strike on Monday, Sept. 30 despite an appeal from authorities.

The massive transport strike will be spearheaded by groups Alliance of Concerned Transport Organization (ACTO), Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operators Nationwide (PISTON), Stop and Go Transport Coalition and No to Jeepney phase out coalition.

The move is to express their opposition to the proposed phase out of jeepneys and UV express service vehicles in line with government’s public utility vehicle modernization program.

They will also voice out their disagreement with the alleged plan of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to revoke their franchises and require drivers and operators to get a loan to secure modernized jeepney and UV express units.

The LTFRB on Wednesday urged transport groups to call off their transport holiday, warning that participants may face suspension and revocation of their franchise.

“Ano pang dapat naming ikatakot dun sa pagbabanta nila? Wala. Kaya dito sa darating na Monday, lalo kaming tatapang sa pamamagitan ng pagbabanta nila,” Efren de Luna, ACTO’s national president said.

De Luna, however, clarified they are not against modernizing their utility vehicles but the immediate phaseout of jeepneys and UC express vehicles by 2020.

Jun Magno of Stop and Go Transport Coalition, meanwhile, appealed to President Rodrigo Duterte to hear their demands and order for the scrapping of the phase out program.

“Sana po ang ating pangulo ay magintervene ang gusto lang naman po namin ay malinawan niya na ang problema ng ating sektor na mahihirap ay lalong mahihirap,” Magno said.

Transport groups hope to begin their strike on Monday at midnight and will last for the entire day.

They also believe they will be able to paralyze the transportation as nearly 97 percent of their members, which include jeepney and UV express drivers, will participate in the strike.

Transport groups have apologized to the riding public who will be affected by the transport holiday on Monday, saying the move is not meant to burden the public but to express their appeals to authorities. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Joan Nano)

Transport groups urged to cancel Sept. 30 nationwide strike

Marje Pelayo   •   September 26, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Wednesday (September 25) called on transport groups to call off their planned nationwide strike scheduled on Monday (September 30).

The massive transport strike will be spearheaded by major transport groups including the Alliance of Concerned Transport Organization (ACTO) and the Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operators Nationwide (Piston).

The move is to express their opposition to the proposed phaseout of jeepneys and UV express service vehicles next year in relation to the government’s modernization program of public utility service (PUV).

The LTFRB, in a statement, appealed to the transport groups to “reconsider” their plan “as this will surely inconvenience the riding public and may jeopardize public safety” and reminded them that mass transport strike is “in direct violation of the provisions contained in their franchise ”.

“Those who will participate in the activity may face suspension or even cancellation and revocation of their franchise,” LTFRB said.

Instead of halting operations, the LTFRB urged transport operators and drivers to participate in a dialogue with the government “to discuss pressing issues and concerns” regarding the implementation of the government’s PUV modernization program.

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