Ride-hailing app drivers go offline Monday against phase out of ‘hatchbacks’

Marje Pelayo   •   July 8, 2019   •   737

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

Authorities caught motorcycle riders in Cagayan de Oro operating under Angkas

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 7, 2020

Authorities have caught several motorcycle riders operating as taxi service under the ride-hailing app Angkas in Cagayan De Oro City which is outside of the designated Motorcycle Taxi Service Pilot Implementation Study area.

After receiving several complaints, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Region 10 office conducted the operation against several units of Angkas. The motorcycles were immediately impounded.

In a Facebook post of the Department of Transportation (DOTr), the riders were “reported to have been violating the terms of the MC Taxi Pilot Study guidelines adopted by the Technical Working Group (TWG).”

“Under current transport laws, Motorcycles are strictly prohibited from being utilized as public transportation. The exception now is the ongoing MC Pilot Study program being implemented by the TWG in Metro Manila and Metro Cebu only,” the post reads

Under the law, riders who are operating colorum motorcycles will be fined P6,000.

The pilot test run is still on-going and is expected to be done by March 23, 2020.

Meanwhile, the Quezon City Regional Trial Court was not in favor with the request of the Lawyers for Commuters Safety to suspend operations of other motorcycle taxis.

Based on the court’s decision, the group presented insufficient evidence for the court to provide a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against other motorcycle taxis for hire.—AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)

Transport groups seek for Php11 minimum fare on jeepneys

Maris Federez   •   December 27, 2019

Commuters try to board a jeepney in Quezon City, Philippines, 30 September 2019. EPA-EFE/ROLEX DELA PENA

MANILA, Philippines — Several transport groups will be filing a petition for a minimum fare of Php11 on public utility jeepneys (PUJ).

Pasang Masda president, Obet Martin, said they will file their fare hike petition to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) in January alongside the implementation of the third tranche of the excise tax on petroleum products.

Martin said the Php2 increase on the current minimum fare of Php9 is to help jeepney drivers and operators recover from the additional tax on oil products that will be imposed on them.

“Sa akin ay talagang kontrang kontra ang aking damdamin sa pagtataas subalit wala po akong magagawa sapagka’t ang presyo po ng aming ginagamit na panggatong o itong diesel eh tumaas na naman po,” Martin said.

The price hike on petroleum products will take effect on January 1, 2020, in accordance with Republic Act 10963 or the Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law.

The fare increase that the group is seeking will further rise to Php12 in case crude prices also further increase.

Pasang Masda, along with other transport groups, will soon be convening to discuss the petition that they will file in January. — (from the report of Asher Cadapan, Jr.) /mbmf

LTFRB reinforces Oplan Isnabero vs errant cab drivers

Robie de Guzman   •   December 20, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – With the anticipated influx of passengers this holiday season, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) will strengthen its “Oplan Isnabero” against errant taxi drivers.

In a statement, the LTFRB said the heightened operations will begin on December 20, Friday and will last until January 3, 2020.

Oplan Isnabero is a nationwide campaign by the LTFRB, in partnership with local malls, against taxi drivers who refuse to convey passengers, do not give change to passengers, do not wear identification card, do not reach out to people with disabilities, pregnant women and senior citizens, do not properly use taxi meters, and do not observe driving safety rules.

The LTFRB first launched the operation in December 2016. It aims to protect passengers from cab drivers who do not comply with the attached rules and requirements of their franchise.

The agency urged the public anew to file a complaint against taxi drivers who violate the said policy.

For queries and concerns, the public may reach the LTFRB through its hotline 1342 or via its official Facebook page and e-mail address. They may also call the DOTr hotline 8790 8300 / 8790 8400.

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