DOTr order permanently allows hatchbacks as TNVS

MANILA, Philippines — In its latest order, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) permanently allowed hatchback and sub-compact vehicles to operate as public transport.

The July 19 Department Order (DO) 2019-013 amended its 2017 DO on the transport network vehicle services to include the units.

Now part of public transport, hatchbacks and subcompact vehicles must seat at most 3 passengers, which excludes the driver.

It must also have recording devices such as a closed-circuit television camera and a dashboard camera, a global network satellite system receiver for location tracking, as well as free wifi.

The DO ordered LTFRB to release guidelines on fare collection, regulations, and other relevant specifications.

The DOTr earlier clarified that hatchbacks included in the master list of 55,000 registered TNVS units and whose applications were filed between March 5 and December 15 last year would be recognized only.

On July 15, TNVS hatchback drivers conducted a "transport holiday" in protest of the deactivation of 5,000 hatchback units, questioning LTFRB’s decision to not allow hatchbacks to operate as TNVS due to "safety concerns."

Drivers and operators lamented the additional requirement on "bank conformity" and the "proof of financial capacity," as these made it harder for them to secure a franchise, leading to their deactivation. – Rappler.com

Enrico Berdos is a Rappler intern. He studies journalism at the University of the Philippines-Diliman.