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Grab, Uber fined P5M

By VANNE TERRAZOLA

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has imposed a P5-million fine to ride-hailing services Grab Philippines and Uber Systems, Inc. for allowing colorum vehicles under their system and violating a number of regulations of the agency.

The LTFRB said the penalty was due to the violation of the two transport network companies (TNCs) on the terms of their accreditation as stated in the Memorandum Circular 2015-016.

Officials of Grab and Uber were grilled by LTFRB officials during a public hearing yesterday in which they admitted that most of the vehicles in their platforms have no certificates of public convenience (CPCs) and provisional authority (PAs) to operate. The LTFRB, recently, apprehended 33 colorum vehicles operating under these TNCs.

Grab country head Brian Cu said they have 28,000 active operator-drivers in their system, about 60 percent of them full time and drive an average of eight to 12 hours daily.

Uber’s head of goverment relations Yvez Gonzales cited the same number, adding that majority earn for driving more than 10 hours a week.

The figures dismayed Chairman Martin Delgra who found the TNCs liable for the colorum vehicles that contribute to the worsening traffic congestion.

Delgra questioned the two companies for allowing the unauthorized operators in their system, despite an existing moratorium on the application of franchises for TNVS, and the directive that only those with case numbers are allowed to be booked by passengers.

In the LTFRB record, only more than 3,700 transport network vehicle service (TNVS) operators were authorized to charge passengers.

The TNCs explained that they continued accepting applications of interested operators and drivers to fill in for those who quit driving.

“The very heart of it is really demand…We always see a gap between how many requested and how many people were able to provide the car. On that basis, we need to continue accepting partners. On top of that there are partners that fall out from the system,” Cu said.

“There is a need to continuously replenish the supply of drivers and vehicles on the road,” Gonzales added.

Besides their alleged colorum operators, the LTFRB also cited the failure of Grab and Uber to police their ranks and make sure that only registered operators can carry passengers. They were told to require their operators to attach their trade dress on the vehicles and provide uniform identification cards to their drivers.

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