Bam Aquino to LTFRB: Work with Uber, Grab on reasonable standards

Bam Aquino to LTFRB: Work with Uber, Grab on reasonable standards
Senator Paolo Benigno 'Bam' Aquino IV pushes for the proposed Rideshare Support Company Act which seeks to encourage 'new, affordable, and safe transportation options'

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV has urged transportation officials to work with rideshare companies in developing reasonable standards amid the clamor of commuters for better options.

Aquino made the call a day after the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) slapped a P5-million fine each on Grab and Uber for letting some of their drivers operate without permits.

“We need to provide the commuting public with better options and alternatives to improve their daily commuting experience. The government must work with rideshare companies that share this mission and develop suitable standards and requirements for them,” Aquino said in a statement on Wednesday, July 12.

“I urge the LTFRB to address this issue of penalties for rideshare companies. Then we can focus on passing legislation to develop the industry and to ensure these new transport networks are held accountable for offenses,” he added.

Last year, Aquino filed Senate Bill 696 or the Rideshare Support Company Act, which seeks “to encourage new, affordable, and safe transportation options and ensure the safety of the riding public by imposing safety and financial responsibility standards and requirements.”

“In any industry, increased competition often leads to improved quality, improved service, and lower prices for consumers. For the commuting public, this is a change they have long clamored for,” the senator said in his explanatory note to SB 696.

The LTFRB said it considered public sentiment in dealing with the rideshare companies, as shown by its decision to impose hefty fines on Grab and Uber. If the LTFRB were to follow penalties stated in LTFRB MC 2015-016, Grab and Uber’s operations should have been shut down.

LTFRB board member Aileen Lizada said on Tuesday that the interest of the riding public “overrides” the provision.

On Wednesday, Aquino renewed his push for SB 696 which seeks to institutionalize a regulatory framework for the new type of service.

SB 696 clarifies the regulations governing transportation network companies or rideshare support sompanies (RSCs), and rideshare network drivers and vehicles.

Under the proposal,  RSCs must obtain a certificate of accreditation from the LTFRB before getting an authority for a qualified rideshare network driver after a thorough background check and submission of required documents. – Rappler.com

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