LTFRB to hold talks with Uber, Grab on ‘colorum’ drivers

Rambo Talabong
(UPDATED) The meeting will take place behind closed doors on Wednesday, July 19

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) will finally meet with ride-hailing companies Uber and Grab on Wednesday, July 19, amid the dispute over “colorum” drivers.

The agenda includes the order to end the operations of around 41,000 Uber and Grab drivers by July 26, as well as public clamor to have the drivers be retained.

The LTFRB will hold the meeting with Uber and Grab representatives only, behind closed doors.

According to the LTFRB, the two companies have about 56,000 active drivers combined. Of that, only 15,000 at most can continue operating by July 26.

Some 3,000 have provisional authority, 10,000 have pending applications, and 2,440 had been rejected but filed a motion for reconsideration.

Uber and Grab earlier said they would not deactivate any of their “colorum” drivers until the regulatory board calls for a meeting, hoping that they can reach a compromise. (READ: LTFRB to Uber, Grab: If you don’t comply, do business elsewhere)

The two companies cite “public demand” as the reason for keeping their drivers on the road, as attested to by users who came to their defense on social media.

‘What makes you different?’

Ahead of the talks, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said in a Malacañang press briefing on Tuesday, July 18, that there’s no reason for Uber and Grab not to comply with regulations.

What makes you so different [from] the other public utility vehicles?” Tugade said.

“Just because you are a [transport network company], hindi ka na magrerehistro (you will not register)? Hindi naman yata tama ‘yan (That isn’t right).”

Tugade called on the two companies to cooperate with the LTFRB.

Dapat kasama rin namin kayo para magkapit-bisig tayo para lahat ng naghahanap-buhay [ay] pumapasok din ho sa tamang regulasyon at sa plataporma ng tinatawag na plataporma ng compliance,” he said.

(We should come together to make sure that all who earn a living follow regulations and a platform of compliance.) – Rappler.com

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.