Hatchbacks and sub-compact cars are now permanently allowed as transport network vehicle service units.
In a message sent to the media, Department of Transportation Assistant Secretary for Communications Goddes Hope Libiran said DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade on Friday signed an amended department order allowing hatchbacks as transport mode following a meeting with other transport officials.
She clarified the DO allowed all hatchbacks as public transport units and not just those included in the 55,000 TNVS units in the master list made by Transport Network Companies such as Grab, in cooperation with the Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board.
She said the department order would be marked with a seal by Saturday (July 20) and would take effect immediately following its publication at the University of the Philippines Law Center.
Tugade on Thursday instructed the LTFRB to implement LTFRB Memorandum Circular 2018-005 which allows accredited hatchback units to operate as TNVS along with certain conditions.
Under the MC, all accredited hatchback units shall be allowed to operate as TNVS within a three-year transition period, only within Metro Manila, and charge a lower fare.
DOTr Undersecretary for Road Transport and Infrastructure Mark Richmund de Leon said allowing hatchbacks as TNVS would mean better service to the riding public through cheaper and wider variety of options.
“We are giving the commuters their transport options. Kung gusto niya na mas mura ang biyahe niya, mag-hatchback siya (If they wanted a cheaper way to travel, they can take hatchbacks),” De Leon said.
In a dialogue between the LTFRB, the Anti-Red Tape Authority and TNVS operators last July 9, LTFRB Technical Division chief Joel Bolano said hatchbacks were not disallowed as TNVS but only 2,235 hatchbacks applied for accreditation within the original 55,000 TNVS units in the master list.
He added the accredited hatchbacks were in violation of the Department of Transportation and Communications order 2015-011 and DOTr order 2017-011 that limits TNVS units to sedans, Asian Utility Vehicles, Sports Utility Vehicles, vans, or other similar vehicles.