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40k Uber, Grab taxis taken off streets

A TOTAL of 40,320 Grab and Uber taxis will be banned from the streets starting July 26 because they will stop having the franchise to operate on that date, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board said Tuesday.

The agency said that number comprised 72 percent of the 56,000 Transport Network Vehicle Service units that would be illegal starting July 26. It said only 15,440 vehicles of Grab and Uber would have the documents to continue operating on that date.

The LTFRB made its statement even as a House leader on Tuesday asked the LTFRB to explain the backlog in processing the permits for Transport Network Vehicle Service or TNVS drivers.

In a statement, Rep. Winston Castelo, head of the House committee on Metro Manila development, said the regulatory board had failed to process the pending applications from Uber and Grab drivers on time.

“Why are there so many applications for permits filed by TNVS drivers that they [the LTFRB] accepted but not processed?” Castelo said.

“If LTFRB’s objective is to lessen congestion in the roads of Metro Manila, then it should clarify why they continue to accept new permit applications for TNVs and allow the documented ones to serve the public. But LTFRB is taking in more applications that they fail to act on.”

In other developments:

• Senator Grace Poe said Tuesday she will file a bill to address the problems confronting the drivers and operators of Transport Network Vehicle Services after the government announced its plan to ban most of them from operating. 

“We must acknowledge the fact that many of our commuters now rely on TNVS to travel around the city,” Poe said. 

STOP HIRING. Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board chairman Martin Delgra (right) explains a point while LTFRB spokesperson lawyer Aileen Lizada listens intently during a press conference held at the LTFRB office in Quezon City.  The LTFRB officials asked Grab and Uber taxis to stop hiring drivers until they comply with the franchising law set by the agency. Lino Santos

“The companies of TNVS provide services that taxi operators have been remiss to provide in the past decade: Point-to-point pick-up and delivery, standardized fare and safe and comfortable rides.”

• Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito said Tuesday    

Uber and Grab cars were better than taxicabs.

Ejercito is seeking an immediate solution to the problem of the ban to be imposed by the LTFRB on Grab and Uber next week.

The LTFRB has announced that starting July 26, only drivers and operators in the lists submitted by Grab Philippines, Uber Philippines and other accredited TNVS will be allowed to offer ride-sharing and ride-hailing services.

• The chairman of the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor on Tuesday said the LTFRB was giving the public a difficult time.

“The paramount consideration in our land transport policy should be the interest of the riding public,” said Terry Ridon as he lamented the mounting complaints on how the LTFRB had been dealing with different modes of public transport.

Ridon said the first strike was on the jeepney sector where the drivers were composed mostly of the urban poor. He said the LTFRB was continuing to insist on phasing out the jeepneys and replaced by supposedly green vehicles that were yet to show proof of concept, economic viability and operational durability.

• The LTFRB said Tuesday 72 percent of the 56,000 TNVS will be considered illegal starting next week and will no longer be allowed to ply the streets of Metro Manila.

Only 15,440 vehicles of Grab and Uber had the documents to continue operating as TNVS by July 26, LTFRB board member Aileen Lizada told reporters. 

• The LTFRB said Tuesday the ride-hailing services had not been suspended, but only those with Provisional Authority or Certificate of Public Convenience would be allowed to operate.

Castelo said the backlog in processing TNVS permits would be “unfair” to the TNVS drivers who now ran the risk of being arrested for operating without a franchise.

“The practice is so unfair to the drivers who have invested hard-earned money to join the app riding transport but run the risk of being apprehended because of applications that were not acted on,” Castelo said.

“They [LTFRB] should have provided guidelines and not give false hopes to the drivers who continue to invest only to be charged for violations.”

Starting July 26, Grab and Uber drivers without franchises will be fined P120,000 and their vehicles impounded for three months should they continue to operate. With Joel E. Zurbano, Sandy Araneta and Darwin G. Amojelar

Topics: Grab , Uber , Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board
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