Lawmaker seeks probe on LTFRB suspension of TNVS applications

MANILA-- A lawmaker at the House of Representatives is calling for a congressional inquiry into the Land Transportation and Franchising Board's (LTFRB) suspension of transport network vehicle services' (TNVS) drivers without provisional authority or certificate of public convenience.

Kabayan Partylist Rep. Harry Roque has filed House Resolution 1125 urging the lower chamber to conduct a legislative inquiry on the suspension of the issuance of permits for Uber and Grab drivers as it will help in refining the pending House bills which seek to regulate the transport network service.

Roque cited the need to balance the interests of the government, the businesses, and the riding public.

It has been a year since the LTFRB issued Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 2016-008. They issued the order citing the need to 'review existing policies and other relevant and pressing issues regarding the issuance of franchise to TNV.' In that span of time, what were the findings of LTFRB?" Roque said.

"Are there policies that need to be revisited or amended? What pressing issues have been discovered? We in Congress need to know these things in order to craft better legislation, he added.

The lawmaker also pointed out a huge backlog in processing the pending applications and renewals from Grab and Uber drivers even before the moratorium was imposed.

Roque urged the LTFRB to lift its moratorium on new applications from Grab and Uber drivers until the state of mass transportation in the metro has improved and made safer.

"LTFRB has admitted there is a backlog. How long does it usually take to process an application? What is causing the delay? We would like to be given hard, quantifiable data and not just general statements," Roque said.

Roque, however, stressed that the responsibility does not fall solely in the hands of LTFRB, noting that Uber and Grab are required to comply with existing laws.

"To say that this issue is one between the quality of taxis and TNVS would be a false dichotomy. We should look towards improving the state of public transportation as a whole," he said.

"Furthermore, it is not productive to pit hardworking Filipino citizens against one another depending on the service they provide. This whole debacle may be an issue of regulation and enforcement. Let us address the issue head on," he added.

Source: Philippines News Agency