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Grab, Uber file MR on LTFRB deactivation order

Grab and Uber urged the LTFRB to reconsider its directive to pull out their drivers who do not have permits or franchise before July 26 or they would be apprehended. AP/File | GrabTaxiPH

Grab, Uber file MR on LTFRB deactivation order

Emmanuel Tupas (The Philippine Star) - July 20, 2017 - 4:00pm

MANILA, Philippines - Transport network companies (TNCs) Grab and Uber yesterday filed motions for reconsideration on the July 11 order of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on colorum operations.

Grab and Uber urged the LTFRB to reconsider its directive to pull out their drivers who do not have permits or franchise before July 26 or they would be apprehended.

Grab, represented by lawyer John Paul Nabua, submitted its 14-page appeal to the LTFRB main office in Quezon City at past 10 a.m.

“We were accorded legal remedies so we opted to file a motion to hold in abeyance the LTFRB order,” Nabua told reporters.

Grab also paid the P5-million fine imposed on the ride-sharing app by the LTFRB for allowing the operations of colorum vehicles.

One of the lawyers for Uber, Roberto Miguel Ramiro, said they were not allowed by their client to disclose the details of their appeal.

“We appealed to the LTFRB to suspend the implementation of the July 11 order. We hope the LTFRB will respond favorably,” Catherine Avelino, Uber head of communications, said in a text message to The STAR.

With the filing of the motion, the apprehension of Grab and Uber drivers without permits will be put on hold.

The TNCs filed their appeal six days before the implementation of the LTFRB order on July 26.

Drivers of Grab and Uber will be allowed to continue operating until the LTFRB resolves their petition.

 “The filing of a motion for reconsideration technically holds in abeyance the LTFRB order as the pleading has to be settled first,” LTFRB board member and spokesperson Aileen Lizada said on Wednesday.

Had Uber and Grab not appealed the order, more than 50,000 of their colorum vehicles will be apprehended starting July 26.

In its motion, Grab said Memorandum Circular 20016-008 issued last year by the LTFRB on transport network vehicles (TNVs) was contrary to law.

Grab said the objective of the suspension was to review existing policies for the issuance of franchise to TNVs.  

Grab noted that one year has passed but the LTFRB has yet to review the policies and other terms and conditions regarding the operations of TNVs.

With the inaction of the LTFRB, Grab said they accepted new applications for TNVs.  

Nabua said only 4,000 of the 28,000 vehicles of Grab have certificates of public conveyance or provisional authorities.

Abra Rep. Joseph Bernos has filed a bill seeking government regulation on the operations of TNVs.

In filing House Bill 4085 or the “Transportation Network Vehicle Service Accreditation Act,” Bernos said the growing public demand for an efficient transportation system should be addressed and encourage the development of alternative modes of transportation.

He said the TNCs must be held liable if they fail to ensure the safety of passengers while in transit.

Bernos proposed that drivers of ride-sharing apps be required to display a proof of insurance coverage.

Under the measure, TNCs will be required to disclose the fares in the mobile app and to transmit an electronic receipt to passengers.

Bernos said TNVs have become popular among professionals and the youth with smartphones and internet connections. – With Artemio Dumlao                

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