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Regulation of TNCs eyed

By: Charissa L. Atienza

The House Committee on Transportation is eyeing to regulate the operations of all Transportation Network Companies such as Uber and Grab.

The panel, chaired by Catan-duanes Rep. Cesar Sarmiento, will conduct a hearing on August 2 as lawmakers seek to finally regulate and set clear the requirements, guidelines, and standards for the operation of these application-based ride-hailing platforms.

“There is a need to study this app and type of transport and possibly allow them subject to necessary regulations,” Sarmiento said.

He said his panel will begin deliberations on House bills relating to TNCs and Transport Network Vehicle Services.

Sarmiento lamented that TNVS do not have permits either from the local government units or from the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board and their fare setting is not being regulated.

“People want transparency in pricing, accountability of both the passengers and drivers, reliability of service, driver courtesy, the convenience technology, and the smell of a new car,” the House leader said.

He said his panel will definitely adopt the position of House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez that all transport service providers must secure a congressional franchise.

House Appropriations Committee chairperson Davao City Rep. Karlo Nograles and his brother, Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta party-list Rep. Jericho Nograles, have sought the enactment of a law that specifically provides the rules governing the operation of TNCs.

The brother-lawmakers filed House Bill 6009, also known as the Transportation Network Service Act, which seeks to institutionalize the TNCs as an alternative mode of public transport and provide the regulations for the operation of transportation network services.

Under the proposal, Transportation Network Companies and Drivers are declared as common carriers and as a common carrier, the TNCs are required to secure a permit from the LTFRB upon compliance with the pertinent requirements.