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LTFRB denies U-Hop application

Robertzon Ramirez (The Philippine Star) - October 24, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines – The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) denied app-based shuttle service U-Hop its application for a franchise as a transport network company (TNC) on Friday.

The LTFRB tweeted its decision on Friday afternoon.

LTFRB chairman Winston Ginez said in an interview that enforcers will apprehend U-Hop should it start operating without the board’s approval.

He added that the board will issue a letter on Monday to ask U-Hop to “cease and desist” seminars it has been conducting for partner drivers and to take down its Facebook page “until the matter is fixed.” 

Ginez said U-Hop’s business model does not suit TNCs as it violates the “no fixed routes” provision provided by the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC).

A memorandum meant for DOTC Secretary Joseph Abaya, signed by Ginez and LTFRB board members Ariel Inton and Ronaldo Corpus, said  “the business model of U-Hop is not what the department had envisioned for TNCs and TNVs (transport network vehicles).”

In the same memorandum, the LTFRB also recommended that the DOTC conduct a “thorough study and formulation of policy for TNCs and TNVs on a shuttle service model.”

Ginez said U-Hop can operate as a public utility vehicle operator should it secure a franchise for shuttle services and if its partner drivers present papers showing that they have an agreement with the company that they will render their service from one point to another, following the typical principle of shuttle services.

Michael Manalaysay, U-Hop’s vice president for corporate communications, was surprised by the board’s decision.

He said that they did not violate any provision of the DOTC’s order, adding that they have also stipulated on their business model the “no fixed route” policy for TNCs.

He refused to comment further on the issue, saying that they have yet to secure a copy of the LTFRB’s decision.

ACIRC ARIEL INTON AND RONALDO CORPUS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND COMMUNICATIONS FACEBOOK GINEZ HOP LAND TRANSPORTATION FRANCHISING AND REGULATORY BOARD MICHAEL MANALAYSAY SECRETARY JOSEPH ABAYA U-HOP WINSTON GINEZ
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