TWO lawmakers on Tuesday filed a bill that seeks to regulate and set clear the requirements, guidelines and standards for the operation of transportation network companies.
Reps. Karlo Nograles of Davao City and Jericho Nograles of the Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) party-list filed House Bill 6009 in a bid to end the impasse between the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board and Uber and Grab.
The two lawmakers was promoted to file the bill in light of decision of the LTFRB to suspend thousands of Uber and Grab vehicles.
“This is a classic case of a clash between what is good and what is legal. Obviously, a lot of people patronize Uber and Grab because of our horrible public transport system but at the same time the LTFRB must exercise its mandate to ensure that all public conveyances should possess a franchise to operate. This issue would be addressed by our proposed law on TNCs,” Karlo Nograles, chairman of the House committee on appropriations, said.
He said enacting a law that will govern the operations of TNCs would clear the air as to how the TNCs should manage their operation as well as provide the LTFRB guidelines on how to deal with the TNCs so as not to sacrifice the riding public’s welfare.
The bill, also known as the Transportation Network Service Act, seeks to institutionalize the TNCs as an alternative mode of public transport.
It also seeks to provide regulations for the operation of transportation network services “to ensure that the paramount interest of the public is protected and conserved, while encouraging free enterprise and economic development.”
Jericho Nograles said HB 6009 is timely.
“It is about time we pass a law regulating the TNCs because this is a concept that is completely new in the country’s transport sector and the general rules governing public conveyances is not fully applicable,” he said.
The congressman said TNCs thrive in many urban centers because of the safety and convenience they provide.
Under the proposal, transportation network companies and drivers (TNDs) are declared as common carriers for purposes of determining the liability and degree of diligence that must be observed in the course of transportation network services, and the presumption of negligence in case of breach of contract of carriage shall likewise apply to them.
As a common carrier, the TNCs are required to secure a permit from the LTFRB upon compliance with the pertinent requirements and in turn, the TNCs shall be required to exercise the diligence of ensuring that all their so-called driver-partners would comply with all the requirements and obligations set by law.
Grab on Wednesday said it is still in investment mode contrary to the claim of the LTFRB that they are earning P150 million a month.
“Grab will begin to aim for profit, but that time is not now, and it will never take advantage of our drivers or passengers,” Grab said.
“We have invested billions of pesos in the country to provide not only a startup business for our partners, but more importantly to give commuters a safe, reliable, and convenient mode of transportation,” it added.
Grab further said it does not make a single peso from its 20 percent commission on rides.
“What we make in commissions is returned more than twofold as incentives to drivers and promos to passengers. We are operating at a loss and have been from the start,” the company said.
Grab also said it will settle the P5-million penalty to LTFRB for violations of the terms of its accreditation.
LTFRB earlier said the ride-hailing services have not been suspended but only those with provisional authority (PA) or certificate of public convenience (CPC) may be allowed to operate.
“The TNCs agreed to fully comply with the rules at the time they were granted accreditation. With their open and candid admission, it is clear that they have broken those rules grossly, putting at risk the tens of thousands of TNVs [ transport network vehicle services] without PA or franchise to commit colorum activities,” said LTFRB Chairman Martin B. Delgra III.
More than 20 TNVs have so far been apprehended for operating without a franchise.
Besides the P5-million fine, LTFRB ordered Uber and Grab to deactivate the more than 50,000 TNVS.
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