Grab: 'Transport holiday' had no effect on passenger bookings

MANILA, Philippines – Dominant ride-hailing firm Grab Philippines on Monday, July 8, said that the "transport holiday" staged by some transport network vehicle services (TNVS) drivers did not affect its operations.

"Despite TNVS transport holiday initiated by some groups, we have not seen extraordinary difficulties in getting rides today. Passenger booking requests were served well through efforts by TNVS drivers all over Metro Manila," Grab spokesperson Nicka Hosaka said.

"We fully understand and respect our driver-partners and their concerns. We believe however that a dialogue with the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) is in order to discuss all options and solutions available to address the current issues," Hosaka added.

On Monday, ride-hailing groups held a "transport holiday" in protest of the LTFRB's requirements for franchise application.

The regulatory agency will be meeting with the concerned drivers on Tuesday, July 9, over the implementation of LTFRB Memorandum Circular (MC) 2018-005.

In that 2018 memorandum circular, the LTFRB regulated hatchbacks over safety and convenience issues. MC 2018-005 gave a period of 3 years, or until 2021, for hatchbacks to be in operation to give way to repayment of car loans.

Senator Grace Poe criticized the LTFRB for prematurely barring hatchback drivers from operating, and called on ride-hailing firms to reactivate their accounts.

Drivers and operators also said the additional requirement on "bank conformity" and "proof of financial capacity" made it harder for them to secure a franchise, leading to their deactivation on some ride-hailing platforms. –

Aika Rey

Aika Rey covers the Philippine Senate for Rappler. Before writing about politicians, she covered budget, labor, and transportation issues.