TNVS groups to submit papers proving hatchbacks are safe
MANILA, Philippines – Transport network vehicle service (TNVS) groups calling for the accreditation of hatchbacks — or cars without extended rear compartments — will provide authorities with documents proving their safety.
During the public hearing called by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Tuesday, lawyer Ariel Inton, who is speaking for the TNVS drivers, said that the groups were ready to submit position papers within the week.
LTFRB chief Martin Delgra III said that the board would discuss these claims before arriving at a decision on whether to allow hatchbacks to be part of various TVNS fleets.
“[The board will meet] if you submit the position paper,” Delgra told Inton, who pressed the LTFRB chief on when the board would convene to address the issues.
Several sectors have expressed concern about the use of the hatchbacks as public transportation because of the absence of an elongated rear chassis, which would give more room between passengers on the backseat and the vehicle behind in case of an accident.
In the hearing, LTFRB officials stressed that the vehicles initially allowed to operate consists only of sedans, Asian utility vehicles (AUVs), sports utility vehicles (SUVs).
Inton countered, however, that if hatchbacks were deemed unsafe, multinational companies would not invest in manufacturing and selling them. He also noted that more “unsafe” modes of transportation had been actually operating in the country right now.
“Ia-address natin ‘yung safety issue. ‘Yung mga hatchback ay safe naman ‘yan. Kung hindi safe ang hatchback dapat hindi na binebenta ‘yan. Pangalawa, katulad ng sinabi natin, we argued before the board na nai-submit na ‘yan [applications of hatchbacks],” Inton explained in an ambush interview.
[We addressed the safety issue. Hatchbacks are safe. If they’re not safe, then they should be sold. Secondly, as we have said, we argued before the board to submit the applications of hatchbacks.]
“Hindi ko malaman kung bakit sinasabi nilang delikado eh. Eh ‘yong tricycle nga mas maliit eh, but the local government unit gives franchise. And then, ‘yong memorandum circular na nagsasabing okay, accredited hatchback, tatanggapin. So ibig sabihin hindi ‘yong issue ng safety,” he added.
[I don’t get why they’re saying its dangerous. A tricycle is smaller, but the local government unit gives it a franchise. And the memorandum circular says it‘s OK, hatchbacks can be accredited. So that means it‘s not a safety issue.]
Last Monday, hatchback drivers staged a protest by not operating for their mother TNVS companies, causing an increase in surge prices among commuters.
They also intended to file a case against the LTFRB at the Office of the Ombudsman but canceled it upon the agency’s call for talks.
(Editor: Alexander T. Magno)
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