LTFRB flags unauthorized operation of Russian ride-hailing apps in PH
MANILA, Philippines — The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) revealed Friday that there are ride-hailing firms operating in the country without the required transport network company license.
In particular, the agency flagged two Russian-owned transport network vehicle services (TNVS) called Independent Driver (InDrive) and Maxim, operating in different parts of the Philippines. The LTFRB added their mobile apps are available to download from Google Play and Apple Inc.’s App Store.
“There are indeed two unauthorized TNVS companies operating in the Philippines right now. One company is called InDrive or Independent Driver, and this is operating in Baguio, Bacolod, Pampanga, Cebu, Iloilo, and Cagayan de Oro. I repeat, InDrivers are not accredited by any government agency and are not monitored by any government agency,” said LTFRB Chairman Teofilo Guadiz III.
The other unauthorized TNVS is called Maxim, according to Guadiz. Maxim operates in 41 cities and municipalities, including but not limited to areas in Angeles, Bacolod, Baguio, Batangas, Binan, Butuan, Cabanatuan, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Cotabato, Davao, Iligan, Iloilo, Lipa, Manila, Tarlac, and Zamboanga.
“Nakapasok na sila sa Metro Manila,” he added.
(They have already penetrated Metro Manila).
The LTFRB official said InDrive and Maxim use both motorcycles and cars and could be finding their way into the food delivery service. But he did not provide the exact number of vehicles under InDrive or Maxim.
Guadiz added that InDrive and Maxim only operate virtually since both have no physical offices in the Philippines and “recruit drivers mainly via Facebook Community Posts.”
Guadiz said the LTFRB is already coordinating with the Department of Information and Communications Technology to ban these two ride-hailing apps in the country and stressed that public safety comes first, explaining that the regulator cannot monitor unauthorized riding firms as “it puts the rider in a bigger risk.”
“It is not accredited by any government agency, which means to say this is a colorum. If you are a colorum, that has no safety net,” he said in a mix of English and Filipino.
He noted that legitimate TNVS companies have insurance in case of accidents, even vouching that legal ride-hailing firms employ trained drivers.
“Paki-usap nalang po sa mga kababayan natin who are using this app, you better cease and desist. One of these days, ang sasakay po sa inyo would be [an] LTFRB agent or a [Highway Patrol Group] agent,” Guadiz cautioned.
(We appeal to our fellow countrymen who are using this app. You better cease and desist. One of these days, the person who will be riding into your car would be an LTFRB agent or a Highway Patrol Group agent).
Vehicles of drivers caught working for illegal TNVS companies will be impounded, according to the LTFRB chief. Drivers, on the other hand, may be fined up to P200,000, Guadiz added.
The LTFRB may also confiscate the licenses of erring drivers, which it will turn over to the Land Transportation Office, where they will undergo possible administrative proceedings.
“Meaning to say confiscated ‘yan, suspended ‘yan, and chances are, baka hindi na po makapagmaneho ang driver,” said Guadiz.
(Meaning to say that is confiscated, suspended, and chances are, the driver may no longer be allowed to drive).
LTFRB urged to regulate commissions of a ride-hailing app
TNVS drivers, operators open to working with gov’t to boost PH’s ride-hailing services
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.