A group of lawyers on Thursday threatened to file a class suit against Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board for the disqualification of the hatchback cars from the list of transport network vehicle service (TNVS) providers.
At a news conference in Quezon City, Ariel Inton of the Lawyers for Commuters Safety and Protection said they were prepared to file today a mandamus case against LTFRB chairperson Martin Delgra III before the Quezon City Regional Trial Court.
“We are filing a class suit. There have been too many hatchback providers whose applications [to operate as TNVS drivers] were rejected,” he said.
The case would urge the court to order the LTFRB to implement Memorandum Circular 2018-005 allowing hatchback vehicles as TNVS under a transition period from 2018 to 2021.
“The memorandum circular took effect Feb. 28, 2018. The transition period should start from that date, plus three years so that means the hatchbacks could still apply (Feb. 27, 2021,” he said.
Efren de Luna, Alliance of Concerned Transport Organizations chairperson, called for the resignation of Delgra.
Leonardo de Leon Jr., Manila Hatchback Community president, said 1,225 hatchback vehicles were deactivated this month, saying they were told by the LTFRB that hatchback vehicles were “unsafe” as TNVS.
A hatchback is a car body configuration with a rear door that swings upward to provide access to a cargo area.
Hatchbacks may feature fold-down second-row seating, where the interior can be flexibly reconfigured to prioritize passenger versus. cargo volume.
The distinguishing feature of a hatchback is a hatch-type rear door that opens upwards and is hinged at roof level (as opposed to the boot/trunk lid of a saloon/sedan, which which is hinged below the rear window).
Most hatchbacks use a two-box design body style, where the cargo area and passenger areas are a single volume.
The rear seats can often be folded down to increase the available cargo area. Hatchbacks may have a removable rigid parcel shelf, or flexible roll-up tonneau cover to cover the cargo space behind the rear seats.
When describing the body style, the hatch is often counted as a door, therefore a hatchback with two passenger doors is called a three-door and a hatchback with four passenger doors is called a five-door.