Philippines suspends new Uber, Grab vehicle registrations as backlog mounts
by admin | Posted on Friday, July 22nd, 2016
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)
by Robie de Guzman | Posted on Friday, July 12th, 2019
MANILA, Philippines – A group of ride-sharing app drivers and operators on Friday urged the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to decide on the implementation of a moratorium on the apprehension of transport network vehicle service (TNVS) vehicles with incomplete registrations.
The Laban TNVS on Friday morning simultaneously sounded their horns as a part of their protest caravan staged in front of the LTFRB main office and the House of Representatives.
The group called on LTFRB chairman Martin Delgra to fulfill his promise of immediately deciding on their appeal to implement a moratorium on apprehensions while their members are processing their applications.
TNVS drivers and operators met with the LTFRB on Tuesday to discuss their concerns following their staging of a ‘transport holiday’ on Monday (July 8).
“Pagkatapos ng dialogue, ang pangako ni Chairman Delgra, within the week ay ilalabas ng board ang desisyon nila tungkol sa dalawang bagay. Una, ‘yung no apprehension, moratorium sa apprehension ng mga TNVS na tinuturing nilang colorum… At yung pangalawa, yung sa usapin ng hatchback,” said Atty. Ariel Inton, president of the Lawyers for Commuters Safety and Protection group.
Although they were able to bring their sentiments before the LTFRB, the group said they are yet to feel any assurance from Delgra’s statements.
“There was no assurance doon sa statement niya. That’s the reason why nandito kami to tell them na naghihintay kami sa kasagutan nila na dapat maging at least maging favorable sa amin,” said Eric Gabriel Fernandez, convenor of the LabanTNVS.
TNVS drivers and operators said the protest aims to air their opposition against LTFRB’s “inconsistent” policies and processing in terms of TNVS registration and application.
They are also protesting the agency’s alleged non-implementation of Memorandum Circular 2018-005 which allows hatchback-type vehicles to operate as TNVS.
The group warned to conduct continuous protest caravans should the LTFRB fail to announce its decision on the matter. (with details from Asher Cadapan Jr.)
by Robie de Guzman | Posted on Monday, July 8th, 2019
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Grace Poe on Monday urged the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to consider lifting its ban on transport network vehicle services (TNVS) units that have failed to comply with application requirements.
Poe made the call as ride-hailing app drivers went offline on Monday (July 8) to protest the agency’s ‘inconsistent’ policies and phase out of hatchback cars.
Poe, who chairs the Senate Committee on Public Services, said the LTFRB already promised in its Memorandum Circular 2018-005 in February that it will allow existing hatchbacks to continue operating for three more years to recoup their investment.
“Siguro ay dapat rin nating malaman kung bakit napagdesisyunan ng LTFRB na hindi sundin ang sarili nilang circular,” the senator said in a statement.
(Maybe it’s time we find out why the LTFRB decided not to follow its own circular.)
“Hindi pwedeng paiba-iba ang ipinatutupad na regulasyon. Hindi ito patas sa mga mananakay at sa mga namumuhunan,” she added.
(The regulations should not be inconsistent. This is not fair to the passengers and investors.)
Poe further said that while LTFRB’s mandate to regulate the industry and ensure the safety of the riding public should be respected, calls to make the process easier according to the Ease of Doing Business Act should also be recognized.
“Matagal na nating kinilala ang kakayanan ng industriyang ito na tugunan ang kakulangan ng maayos na transportasyon sa kalakhang Maynila. Bakit natin kailangang pahirapan ang lahat?”
(We have long recognized this industry’s capacity to fill the gap of mass transportation in Metro Manila. Why do we need to make everyone suffer?)
The TNVS community in Metro Manila earlier said the transport holiday on Monday is to protest the difficult policies of the LTFRB in securing provisional authority and certificate of public convenience.
Although the drivers’ move inconvenienced many ride-hailing app users, Poe said the transport holiday is an opportunity for a negotiation between the LTFRB and the TNVS groups.
The agency earlier announced the conduct of a dialogue on Tuesday (July 9) to discuss the groups’ grievances.
“While the parties are on the table, we hope that the LTFRB can consider lifting the deactivation on those who failed to comply with the requirements,” Poe said.
The senator, meanwhile, revealed that bills seeking to put in place a law governing TNVS operations will continue to be discussed in the Senate.
“These include the re-filing of our bill from last Congress which proposes that only Transport Network Companies (such as Grab) will be directly regulated by the LTFRB. TNVS will only be one of several bills in the overarching ‘inclusive transportation’ agenda,” she said.
Poe added that bills seeking for the establishment of alternative modes of transportation will also be pushed in the 18th Congress.
“Other bills which we will file include the establishment of bicycle lanes, elevated walkways, and other alternative modes of transportation,” she said.
by Marje Pelayo | Posted on Monday, July 8th, 2019
MANILA, Philippines – Some ride-hailing app drivers went offline on Monday (July 8) in a transport holiday against the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).
Various groups of transport network vehicle service (TNVS) units protest what they claim as sluggish and tedious process of franchise application imposed by the agency.
Also, the TNVS community is urging the LTFRB to lift the ban on hatchback units and ease the process of permit applications for to-be ride-sharing drivers.
Officials from the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Anti-Red Tape Authority addressed the concerned drivers gathered at Quezon City Memorial Circle.
DOTr Undersecretary for Road Transport Mark de Leon vowed to review the phase out order on hatchback units operating as TNVS.
“Tingnan natin kung paano nain mababawasan yung mga requirements, (Let’s see what we can do to minimize the requirements,)” De Leon said.
“Tingnan kung paano mababawasan ang processing time para mapabilis na makapagbigay ng public service itong mga TNVS, (Let’s see how we can cut the processing time so these TNVS may be able to deliver public service fast,)” he added.
The ride-sharing app community went offline starting 6:00 a.m. on Monday (July 8).
Organizers of the event said there are about 35,000 drivers who allegedly joined the transport holiday.
Despite the assurance from the DOTr, the drivers’ groups are determined to sustain their transport holiday until 6:00 p.m.
“Masaya tayo doon sa binanggit ni Usec. De Leon na paiiksiin pero hindi tayo titigil hanggat walang papel sa harapan natin, (We are happy that Usec. De Leon promised to cut (the processing time) but we will not stop unless there’s a signed memo,)” argued Hatchback Community President Leonardo de Leon.
“Laway lang po iyan. Kailangan maglabas sila ng memorandum na ipinapatigil ang mga hulihan at ibalik, Maniniwala kami dyan kapag pati mga hatchback nakabalik na sa Grab App at makakabiyahe na, (That’s pure talk. They have to issue a memorandum ordering a stop on apprehension. We will only believe them once the hatchbacks return to Grab App and continue their operation,)” he added.
Aside from the stop operation, the TNVS community is set to file a complaint against LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra at the Office of the Ombudsman this afternoon to air their grievances against the agency.
Delgra, meanwhile, is scheduled to speak with the group on Tuesday (July 9). – with details from Joan Nano
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