Uber, Grab drivers seek lifting of suspension order vs TNVS franchise

MANILA-- Drivers of transportation network companies (TNCs), Uber and Grab, formally filed a petition Friday, urging the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to lift its moratorium on the granting of franchise for transport network vehicle services (TNVS).

The TNVS drivers appealed to the LTFRB and the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to recognize and process the applications, especially those within the TNC's platform that have no certificate of public convenience (CPC) or provisional authority (PA).

They asked both agencies to consider their plight as the TNVS is their source of livelihood.

We agree that there should be a limit on the TNVS. However, we are appealing that those already in the platform before the suspension order be given the opportunity to be granted their CPCs and PAs because they have sufficient capital and investment, Bobby Coronel, founder of Team Speed, said during a press conference held in Quezon City to commemorate the first anniversary of the issuance of LTFRB Memorandum Circular No. 2016-008.

The memo circular directs the board's technical division and regional offices not to accept any application for TNVS, especially those from Uber, GrabCar, and Uhop, due to the rising volume of TNVS applications.

We appeal to (Transportation) Secretary (Arthur) Tugade to lift the suspension to ease the concerns of drivers that they might lose their jobs, he added.

Coronel, along with other leaders of TNVS providers -- Polo Almazan (Takbong South President), Glenford Artuz (PDCom President), Aylene Paguio (Silangan Autoclub), and Glen Jacobe (Team Tiger City), who are representing 12,536 drivers -- filed the petition at the office of newly appointed DOTr Undersecretary for Road Transport Tim Orbos.

He further explained that the TNCs should always replenish the supply of drivers to address the demand of the commuters.

On Tugade's statement that TNCs should submit themselves to regulation to allow the government to collect the right taxes from them, the TNVS drivers said they have been paying taxes to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).

We have insurance coverage, NBI clearances. The drivers are subjected to drug tests. I think Secretary Tugade is being misguided, said Efren Baltazar of Team Mandaluyong.

The petitioners affirmed that they have submitted the necessary requirements for the accreditation and are wondering why the LTFRB is taking a long time to process their applications.

We have complete requirements and have undergone trainings and seminars. We don't know why the LTFRB does not process our papers. We have complied with their requirements. What do they still want? That's all, Coronel said.

The petition, which was hosted on online platform change.org, has garnered more than 100,000 signatures from commuters.

The LTFRB is set to create a Technical Working Group (TWG) that will settle various concerns, such as accreditation and pending applications, accountability and a dynamic pricing scheme.

It will also establish a one-stop shop, as well as a help desk, in its central office in Quezon City to process CPCs that are about to expire until end of July.

It will also issue a memorandum circular extending the validity of the CPC from one year to two years and direct TNCs to extend the accreditation of their TNVS.

Source: Philippines News Agency