LTFRB to Grab: Explain 8,000 ‘colorum’ drivers
MANILA, Philippines — The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has ordered Grab to explain why 8,000 of its driver-partners failed to get accredited as transport network vehicle services (TNVS) drivers.
The transport board will hear the side of the ride-hailing app on June 11. Earlier this week, Grab announced that on June 10, it would remove from its platform the 8,000 drivers who failed to beat the June 7 deadline to secure a franchise.
“If a Grab driver’s profile shows you that [his] LTFRB number is still [being processed], it only means two things: Either [he] applied but has yet to be accredited, or [he] really didn’t apply,” LTFRB chair Martin Delgra III told the Inquirer.
“What we want to hear from Grab is how many drivers really failed to apply at all,” he said.
According to Grab, the deactivation of the 8,000 “colorum” but active drivers would trigger longer booking periods and higher price surges due to fewer available rides.
But Delgra noted that the number of active drivers was much lower than those who had been given accreditation.
“So if you’re talking about service disruption … ideally, if all those who were accredited were online, they should be able to serve all the bookings,” he said.
According to LTFRB data, 45,522 TNVS drivers currently have either a provisional authority or a certificate of public convenience, allowing them to operate legally.
Because Grab does not have an employer-employee relationship with its driver-partners, those who will be removed from its platform will not get benefits or subsidies.
Grab promised only to assist them in renewing their franchise once the LTFRB opens 10,000 new slots for TNVS drivers on June 10.
A labor group, on the other hand, expressed support for the thousands of affected drivers and asked the LTFRB to extend the deadline for the franchise application as well as trim down the number of requirements for applicants.
In a statement, Defend Job Philippines said aspiring TNVS drivers need to submit at least 13 documents just to secure a franchise from LTFRB alone.
“While we support government efforts to ensure [the] safety and convenience of TNVS commuters, we believe that it remains the state’s responsibility to also ensure the livelihood and source of income of thousands of TNVS partners and Grab drivers for the sake of their families and dependents,” said Christian Lloyd Magsoy, Defend Job Philippines spokesperson.
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