LTFRB warns new ride-hailing app OWTO to get accredited before launch
Upcoming ride-hailing app OWTO is reportedly set to hold a press conference next week for its launch, but the government has warned the firm not to push through or it would be dealt with accordingly.
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Saturday issued a cease-and-desist order against OWTO as it had not yet been granted an accreditation to operate as a transportation network company (TNC).
OWTO, which presents itself as a “fair,” “safe” and “Filipino” TNC, should first consult with regulating bodies about the requirements for accreditation, according to LTFRB board member Aileen Lizada.
“Before anyone offers anything to the general public, particularly these TNCs, they must present their business design to the regulatory body. That is the LTFRB,” Lizada told reporters on Saturday.
“They need to know what are the things and the requirements na dapat makita ng mga riders sa app. They cannot just do it on their own without consulting the proper government agency,” she stressed.
Lizada said that the accreditation of TNCs are still open, but processing of applications for Transport Network Vehicle Services (TNVS) providers are still suspended.
The new TNC was reported to have scheduled a press conference on Dec. 18 at Amo Gastropub on Tomas Morato Avenue in Quezon City. Lizada said the firm should postpone the conference.
“To the organizers of OWTO, it is best that you coordinate with the LTFRB before you do any press conference, before you do any packaging, before you do any marketing, because you need to know the basic requirements the law requires,” Lizada said.
In a Facebook page post on Dec. 5, OWTO branded itself as a TNC that would give riders “reasonable value-for-money fares.”
“It also empowers the driving partners with equitable take-home pays through the company’s lower commission take-out schemes. Life is fair with OWTO, you know,” the company said.
The firm added that it would commit and comply with the government’s rules and regulations for the “greater good of the public.”
“Christmas time is fast approaching. Guess who’s coming to town? It’s definitely not for the naughty ones but for the ones who play it nice,” the company said on Facebook.
But for Lizada: “OWTO is naughty and is definitely not being nice.” /atm
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.