LTFRB ban on small cars for TNCs hit
Marvin Sy (The Philippine Star) - January 18, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Grace Poe yesterday questioned the move of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to prohibit hatchbacks and compact cars from being registered under transport network companies (TNCs) Uber, Grab and U-Hop.

There should be no reason why these vehicles should be excluded as transport network vehicle service (TNVS) units when they have been used as such for the past two years without incident, she said.

“If a vehicle is safe for personal use and to carry family members, how is it not safe to ferry passengers? The LTFRB should also consider that once they remove the accreditation for compact cars, then this will result in fewer TNVS servicing the TNVS-riding population. Given this, will the LTFRB now lift the moratorium on TNVS applications?” Poe said.

While agreeing that the safety of passengers should be treated as a matter of paramount concern, Poe said the LTFRB should also consider the livelihood of the drivers and car owners who will be affected by its order.

Poe said the LTFRB memorandum circular limiting the piston displacement of TNVS units to 1200 cc only came after discussions with Grab and Uber.

“However, in the agency’s initial guidelines, transport network vehicles were not limited by this qualifier. Thus, owners of compact cars who have already registered with TNCs under the old guidelines should not be suddenly deprived of their livelihood,” she said. 

Poe called on the agency to “act humanely” by providing “a considerable amount of time as a transition period for the owners of these vehicles.”

She said as long as the TNVS hatchbacks and compact car owners are able to show proof of compliance with international safety standards, then they should be allowed to continue operating.

Citing the LTFRB’s argument that there should be stringent requirements for TNVS, Poe said the agency should impose the same standards on all kinds of public utility vehicles. 

“Are two-year-old hatchbacks any less safer than a 10-year-old taxi or one that is not well-maintained?” Poe said.

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