TNVS drivers appeal to lift suspension of P2-per-minute charge

MANILATransportation network vehicle services (TNVS) drivers on Friday urged the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to lift the suspension of the PHP2-per-minute travel charge being imposed by ridesharing firm Grab to its riders.

In a press conference held in Quezon City, the drivers said the suspension order will adversely affect their livelihood as the travel duration charge provides sustainable income amid higher oil prices.

TNVS operator Earl Licera said many drivers have lost their jobs since the PHP2-per-minute charge was suspended by the LTFRB.

Nakikiusap po kami sa LTFRB na sumusunod naman po kami sa inyo, sana ay pakinggan ninyo rin po kami. (We are asking LTFRB that we listen to you and that hoping you'd listen to us as well), Licera said.

Grab has recently filed its motion for reconsideration before the LTFRB asking that it lift its suspension on the travel duration rate.

The company has maintained that the travel duration rate is legal and in accordance with a 2015 order of the Department of Transportation that allows transportation network companies (TNCs) to set their own fare rates.

Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) Partylist Rep. Jericho Nograles accused Grab of illegally charging PHP2 per minute for their rides, on top of its flagdown rate of PHP40 and charging PHP10 to PHP14 per kilometer. He said Grab should refund around P1.8 billion to its customers because of the alleged overcharging.

For his part, Vhinz Fernando of Philippine Solid Grabbers said that masking the destination of passengers will compromise their safety.

Our families at home are expecting our safety as we drive back and forth, Fernando said.

Grab has announced that its drivers will no longer see passenger destinations starting this Friday which will lead to reducing the incidents of cancelled booked trips. This will be initially rolled out to 25 percent of Grab drivers with historically low acceptance rate.

The firm has also launched an auto-accept feature that will automatically allocate trips to drivers allowing a more seamless experience in continuously accepting passenger requests.

Meanwhile, ATC Transport and Services Chairperson Josephine Llavore urged Congress to fast-track the passage of a Transportation Network Company (TNC) bill that would standardize the guidelines for the operations of ride-hailing services.

She also appealed for understanding on the issues of TNVS drivers and said that these should be addressed. (With reports from Madonna Actub and Eleazar Batalla,OJT/PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency