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LTFRB: No apprehension of illegal Uber, Grab cars

By VANNE ELAINE P. TERRAZOLA

There will be no apprehension of “colorum” vehicles under transport network companies (TNCs) Grab and Uber after they filed Thursday their respective motions for reconsideration (MRs) against the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board’s (LTFRB’s) order.

LTFRB member and spokesperson Aileen Lizada said the filing of their MRs technically suspends their crackdown against transport network vehicle services (TNVS) operating without permits starting July 26.

“The filing of the MR technically holds in abeyance whatever decision, because it is not yet final. The pleading should be settled first,” Lizada told reporters.

Thus, no colorum TNVS operator under the two app-based ride-hailing service giants would be apprehended and penalized in the meantime.

Ttransport networking companies (TNCs) Grab Philippines and Uber Systems, Inc. were given 15 days to file their MRs after the LTFRB last July 11 ordered them to cease the deployment of all TNVS that do not have their certificate of public convenience (CPCs) and provisional authority (PAs).

This was on top of the P5-million penalty after the TNCs admitted that they activated almost 56,000 cars on their system and allowed them to charge passengers despite the July 21, 2016 moratorium on the application and release of new TNVS franchises. About 3,700 were granted permits to operate.

Lawyer John Paul Nabua, who was first to file a 14-page MR for Grab on Thursday, argued that the moratorium only indicated the review of the terms and conditions for the TNVS and did not ban them from accrediting new drivers.

“Basing on it, the memorandum did not totally disallow TNVS or did not say that we have reached our limit…It suspended the application but did not ban accreditation,” he said.

Nabua also blamed the huge number of colorum TNVS on the LTFRB for its “inaction” while the moratorium was in effect.

The Grab counsel explained they also accredited new drivers because “it will be unfair to them should they hold their accreditation when they have fully paid the application fees.” Grab charged its operators and drivers each a P6,000 processing fee to be put into their system.

Nabua said they expect to come up with a win-win solution as they coordinate with the LTFRB on the matter. If the talks were unsuccessful, Nabua warned that fares in TNVS will increase.

“If they reduced the 28,000 of Grab cars on the road – we know we have what we call dynamic pricing, that if cars were fewer than the passengers – prices will increase,” he said.

Meanwhile, both Uber and Grab have paid the P5-million fine last July 18, and July 20, respectively.

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