LTFRB to set, regulate fares of TNCs

By Aerol John Pateña

June 11, 2018, 7:37 pm

MANILA -- The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has released an order that will grant authority to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to regulate the operations of transportation network companies (TNCs) and transportation network vehicle services (TNVS) units nationwide.

The Department Order, signed by Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade Monday, will allow the LTFRB to determine the fare, rates and other charges of TNCs after undergoing public hearings and consultations to ensure that they are just and reasonable.

This will ensure that the TNCs and TNVS will comply with policies, laws, and regulations as the DOTr recognizes their role in providing transport services to the public.

“We acknowledge the value of TNCs into our land transport system. Bago ito at maraming bansa ang nangangapa pa sa kung papaano ito i-handle. But, since it is convenient and efficient, and our people need them, nararapat lamang na bigyan natin ito ng puwang (This is new and many countries are still trying to grasp on how to handle this transport service. But, since it is convenient and efficient, and our people need them, it is proper that we let them operate)," Tugade said in a statement.

“If you engage in public transport, you have responsibilities. It is important to have regulations so we can monitor and ensure that nobody will be disadvantaged. Do you want that you are legally operating but others are not? Of course we want to ensure a level playing field and equal competition,” he added.

For his part, Undersecretary for Road Transport and Infrastructure Tim Orbos said the order will uphold the safety and protection of the riding public.

“With an operations imbued with public interest, state regulation is necessary in order to ensure that the interests of all parties, most especially the riding public, are protected,” Orbos said.

The LTFRB is in charge of issuing franchises, setting of routes, setting of operating conditions, and imposing fines, suspensions, and cancellations when necessary for all public utility vehicles.

Meanwhile, ridesharing company Grab said it will comply with the order of the DOTr and assures the riding public that it is committed to provide safer and reliable transportation services.

“We have yet to receive a copy of the Department Order but rest assured Grab will comply, as always, to follow the orders set forth by the DOTr. We also recognize and reiterate our deference to the authority of the LTFRB and we will continue to abide by the regulations issued by the Board,” it said in a statement.

“Grab will continue to support the DOTr and the LTFRB in their mandate to ensure the safety and protection of commuters,” it added.

The new order will supersede Department Order No. 2015-011 which allows TNCs to set their own fares and rates.

The 2015 order has been cited by Grab as legal basis for imposing rates such as a PHP2-per-minute travel charge and the PHP80 to PHP125 minimum base fares. (PNA)