2 solons seek to end row between LTFRB, ride-sharing firms
Amid a conflict between the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and the app-based transport services Grab and Uber, two congressmen have initiated moves to end the disorder affecting countless of commuters or riders.
Davao City Rep. Karlo Nograles and his brother Pwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) Rep. Jericho Nograles have filed House Bill 6009 to end the disagreement between the Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) and the LTFRB.
The dispute has led to a crackdown on Uber and Grab vehicles that do not have franchises to operate.
The House Bill 6009, or the Transport Network Service Act, seeks to institutionalize TNC as an alternative mode of public transport, and to regulate the operations of these services “to ensure that the paramount interest of the public is protected and conserved, while encouraging free enterprise and economic development.”
According to House Bill 6009, the TNCs would only be allowed to operate if they are able to comply with all the requirements and secure a permit from the LTFRB.
The bill defines these companies and their drivers as “common carriers” for purposes of determining the liability and degree of diligence so that the presumption of negligence in case of breach of contract of carriage may apply to both.
The bill would require these ride-sharing and -hailing companies to secure a permit from the LTFRB and to oblige the TNCs to ensure that their drivers would comply with all the requirements and obligations set by law.
The bill would require an Uber and Grab operator the following:
- Create an application process for a person to apply for registration as a transportation network driver
- Maintain an updated database of the TNC’s transportation network drivers
- Maintain a website
- Conduct or have a third party conduct a safety inspection of the personal vehicle that a TNC will use before the motor vehicle may be used to provide transportation network services
- Maintain an insurance policy for its driver-partners and their passengers.
The TNCs are also expected to strictly adopt a zero tolerance policy for drug or alcohol use among its drivers, and must ensure that the vehicles are safe and comfortable.
TNC vehicles are also prohibited from exceeding the car manufacturer’s designed seating capacity in its ride-sharing activities, the bill said.
The Uber and Grab vehicles should also be not more than 10 years old, and must be road-worthy and compliant with vehicle emission standards, the bill added.
In a statement, Davao City Rep. Nograles said the tiff between the TNCs and LTFRB is a “classic case of a clash between what is good and what is legal,” especially because Uber and Grab remained a favored convenient form of public transportation.
“Obviously, a lot of people patronize Uber and Grab because of our horrible public transport system but at the same time the LTFRB must exercise its mandate to ensure that all public conveyances should possess a franchise to operate. This issue would be addressed by our proposed law on TNCs,” Nograles said.
PBA Rep. Nograles in the same statement said there is still a need to regulate Uber and Grab because these are relatively new modes of public transportation.
He lamented that the operation of Grab and Uber would not have been an issue if the country had an efficient mass transport system in the Metro Rail and Light Rail Transits System.
“The concept of Uber and Grab is new to us so therefore new regulations must be set to ensure that they are properly managed. Unfortunately, we don’t even need to go through this kind of trouble if only we have an efficient public transport system and an MRT that doesn’t break down too often,” he said
The PBA Partylist earlier challenged LTFRB to first tackle “colorum” public vehicles instead of cracking down on ride-hailing companies like Grab and Uber. Airei Kim Guanga, INQUIRER.net trainee / JPV/rga
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