LTFRB exec: Suspend franchise applications for app-based vehicles
MANILA, Philippines — A suspension of franchise applications for app-based vehicles was sought by a member of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) following the various complaints against the accreditation of online transportation services.
In a letter received on Thursday by the Department of Transportation and Communications, Board Member Ariel Inton said the agencies should consider the reasons behind the oppositions, “particularly the oversupply of providers both with authority and without authority.”
“Pending final disposition of all legal issues raised, it is respectfully requested that a moratorium on the acceptance of applications for (transportation network vehicle services) be immediately issued, until the board or the department has determined how many TNVS should be given authority,” Inton said in the letter.
As of Oct. 2, 3,499 applications for TNVS franchise from partner operators of Uber and GrabCar, for 4,465 vehicle units have been filed, Inton said.
He also noted that the DOTC order issued in May directed the LTFRB to accredit transportation network companies while waiting for guidance from Congress, but no such legislative enactment had been passed.
Sought for comment, LTFRB Chair Winston Ginez said, “It’s his call. That’s his prerogative to write the DOTC secretary in his capacity as member of the board.”
But Ginez said he could not comment on the moratorium request since it was addressed to Transportation Secretary Joseph Abaya and the matter was not taken up by the LTFRB.
In separate petitions, transport groups Stop and Go and 1-Utak said that while a moratorium has been imposed on the issuance of franchise, TNVS were still given authority to operate without having to prove public need.
1-Utak and Acto, meanwhile, pointed out that the LTFRB failed to hold a hearing on the fares set by Uber and GrabCar before approving their operations. SFM