By Alexandria San Juan
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) is set to implement new guidelines to address issues raised by ride-sharing drivers over transport network vehicle service (TNVS) applications following the transport holiday staged this week.
As part of LTFRB’s contingency plan, the agency said it will process up to 1,000 TNVS franchise applications per day for verification and stamping of Temporary Authority.
Speaking to ride-sharing operators and drivers in a dialogue on Tuesday, LTFRB chairman Martin Delgra III said they will also dedicate two Saturdays every month to process franchise applications.
According to Delgra, a 90-day stamp for temporary authority will be provided for applicants who filed their applications and those who filed for motion for extension of Provisional Authority from January to May this year.
While for applicants whose applications were filed in June 2019, stamping will begin on July 23 onwards, from Tuesday to Friday, the LTFRB said.
The agency came up with the new measures after TNVS drivers and operators protested LTFRB’s problematic requirements and poor and slow processing of franchise applications through staging a transport holiday on Monday.
The Laban TNVS, a network of TNVS operators and drivers, also called out LTFRB’s ban on hatchbacks and the increasing number of apprehended drivers on the road.
However, the group expressed dismay on the dialogue initiated by the LTFRB, saying that nothing concrete has been resolved and addressed during the almost four-hour meeting.
“During the dialogue, Chairman Delgra and the whole LTFRB leadership only exposed their lack of heart and consideration to thousands of TNVS operators and drivers who have been working hard for their families,” LABAN TNVS spokesperson Jun De Leon said.
De Leon mentioned Delgra’s statement that regulators will continue to apprehend colorum TNVS despite the group’s call to issue a moratorium on apprehending ride-hailing cars without fully-complied requirements.
On the hatchback issue, the LTFRB chief maintained that only those units included in the masterlist were allowed to operate.
The group’s legal counsel, Ariel Inton of the Lawyers for Commuters Safety and Protection (LCSP) appealed to Delgra to reconsider its position and accept the application of hatchback units citing LTFRB’s Memorandum Circular 2018-005 which allows compact and smaller sedans to operate as TNVS.
“The MC is there. It can be interpreted in many ways. I am appealing to the Board to interpret the Order in favor of these people (TNVS operators and drivers) and for the Board to approve the application,” Inton said.
Following the dialogue, the Laban TNVS hinted plans to hold series of protests versus their so-called “pahirap policies” of the LTFRB.
De Leon added that the TNVS transport holiday last Monday will “definitely be not the last but the start of more protests to come against LTFRB.”