File photo shows hatchbacks TNVS units.
The STAR/Michael Varcas, File
LTFRB ordered to allow hatchbacks to operate as TNVS units
( - July 18, 2019 - 6:22pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation ordered the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board to allow hatchbacks to operate on certain conditions.

A DOTr release Thursday said Secretary Arthur Tugade directed the LTFRB to implement Memorandum Circular 2018-005, which allows accredited hatchback units to operate as public transport but only for three years and in Metro Manila. Drivers will also be required to charge a lower fare.

“Implement the existing MC until such time that the same is modified and/or amended,” Tugade said.

He added: “If some documents need to be changed, then change. If they need to be improved, then improve.”

Only the hatchbacks that were among the 55,000 units on the master list and whose applications were filed between March 5 and Dec. 15, 2018 are entitled to the benefit granted by MC 2018-005.

Mark Richmund de Leon, DOTr undersecretary for road transport and infrastructure, said the LTFRB needs to amend its memorandum circular to allow the permanent classification of hatchbacks as transport network vehicle services units and to re-enlist the ones that were previously removed from the master list.

“In bigger metropolitan areas like London and Tokyo, hatchbacks are allowed to operate as public transport. If first world countries and cities allow it, why can’t we? These vehicles are more fuel-efficient and, thus, are good for the environment,” De Leon said. 

Last July 8, ride-sharing drivers and operators held a “transport holiday” to protest the allegedly stringent policies of the LTFRB and the agency’s refusal to implement MC 2018-005.

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