LTFRB limits number of taxis, TNVS operating during GCQ
MANILA, Philippines – The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board will limit the number of taxis and transport network vehicle services (TNVS) allowed on the road, as some areas transition into general community quarantine (GCQ) on May 16.
Under Memorandum Circular 2020-18 signed on Thursday, May 14, the LTFRB said that its regional offices will determine the number of vehicles to be deployed, depending on "demand."
Taxis and TNVS are still prohibited in Metro Manila because of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), but the memorandum said that the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases will determine the number of vehicles once the capital region is under GCQ.
The LTFRB also required operators to enforce a cashless payment scheme.
Which taxis and TNVS can operate? The memorandum covers all taxi and TNVS operators that have a valid certificate of public convenience or provisional authority from the LTFRB, as well as those whose permits expired starting March 17.
As LTFRB will determine the number of allowed units, transport network companies will have to submit a list of qualified TNVS operators. The regulatory board, meanwhile, will provide the TNC the final list of qualified taxi operators, after the firm submits the initial list of taxi drivers within their system.
This means that all taxi operators must be under a TNC, such as dominant ride-hailing firm Grab Philippines and taxi-hailing app MiCab. To date, there are 9 accredited ride-hailing companies, including Owto, Hirna, ePickMeUp, GoLag, Hype, Snappy Cab, and Ryd Global.
TNVS operators must submit to their home TNCs photocopies of their certificate of registration, Land Transportation Office (LTO) official receipt, and passenger insurance policy.
TNCs must provide the LTFRB the taxi and TNVS operator's name, case number, plate number, chassis number, and type of electronic payment in case of street-hailed passengers.
Health measures: Under the Department of Transportation guidelines, TNVS and taxis should only be allowed 3 passengers, apart from the driver.
The LTFRB also set safety protocols to minimize the risk of infection:
- Drivers shall wear masks and gloves
- No face mask, no ride
- Often-touched surfaces shall be disinfected every trip
- Vehicles must be sprayed with disinfectant every two hours if in continuous operations
- Appropriate car flooring or matting protection should be placed to ensure sanitation requirements are followed
- Driver's compartment should be sealed off from the passenger area
- Operators should ensure fitness to work by checking their temperature and screening for any symptoms of coronavirus
- Only those allowed outside of their residence under IATF guidelines are allowed to drive. This means that the elderly and the youth are not allowed.
Starting May 16, Metro Manila, Laguna, and Cebu City will be under modified ECQ. The rest of the country would be either under GCQ or modified GCQ, where public transportation is allowed. (EXPLAINER: What's modified ECQ and modified GCQ?) – Rappler.com