LTFRB urged to craft temporary rules Uber, Grab

MANILA-- A ranking leader in the House of Representatives on Thursday called on the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to come up with the minimum requirements and guidelines that would temporarily govern the operation of Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) such as Uber and Grab.

House Appropriations Committee Chair and Davao City Rep. Karlo Nograles made the call following the decision of the regulatory board to withdraw its crackdown on transport network vehicle services (TNVS) which are operating without certificates of public convenience or provisional authority.

Nograles said the interim rules should ensure that these TNCs will remain accountable for the actions and behavior of their members in the meantime that there is no law regulating these application-based ride-hailing platforms.

"The requirement, since this is an interim arrangement, should just focus on the safety and security of the passengers and drivers should no longer be required to individually secure a franchise as being originally required by the LTFRB. What's good about Uber and Grab is that they can easily keep tabs on their drivers," he added.

The lawmaker said LTFRB's decision not to apprehend "colorum" Uber and Grab cars for the meantime could give Congress enough leeway to come up with a law regulating the operation of TNCs and allow these companies to comply with the conditions set by the board.

"I'm really glad that the LTFRB, through Chairman Martin Delgra III and Board Member Atty. Lourdes Lizada, has reconsidered its position on this issue about the TNCs and took into account the importance of these ride-hailing companies as an alternative mode of transport for many of our countrymen, he said.

"By giving provisional authority for Uber and Grab, it shows their concern for the safety and convenience of the riding public," he added.

Earlier, Nograles and his brother, Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) Partylist Rep. Jericho Nograles, filed House Bill 6009 seeking to regulate and set clear requirements, guidelines, and standards for the operation of TNCs.

The two administration lawmakers said the bill will provide a legal framework that would address the distinct character of TNCs as a public conveyance, thus removing the impasse on the issue of public welfare versus existing transportation regulations on the use of such application-based ride-hailing platforms.

HB 6009, also known as the Transportation Network Service Act, seeks to institutionalize the TNCs as an alternative mode of public transport.

The measure also stipulates the regulations for the operation of transportation network services "to ensure that the paramount interest of the public is protected and conserved while encouraging free enterprise and economic development."

Both lawmakers stressed the need to enact a law governing the operation and regulation of TNCs, which is a completely new concept in the country's transport sector and the general rules governing public conveyances is not fully applicable.

Under the bill, TNCs and Transportation Network Drivers (TNDs) are declared as common carriers for purposes of determining the liability and degree of diligence that must be observed in the course of transportation network services.

The presumption of negligence in case of breach of contract of carriage shall likewise apply to these common carriers.

The TNCs shall be required to secure a permit from the LTFRB upon compliance with the pertinent requirements and in turn, the TNCs shall be required to exercise the diligence of ensuring that all their driver-partners would comply with all the requirements and obligations set by law.

Source: Philippines News Agency