No apprehension of Grab, Uber drivers until LTFRB ruling

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Undocumented Grab and Uber drivers can remain on the roads until the Land Transportation Franchising an Regulatory Board (LTFRB) decides on the appeal filed by the transportation network companies (TNCs).

This comes after Grab and Uber on Thursday, July 20, filed separate motions for reconsideration (MR) with the LTFRB on its July 11 order that directed the TNCs to purge themselves of drivers with expired or no permits by July 26.

The order was to take effect on July 26. Without the MR, undocumented Grab and Uber drivers may be fined as high as P120,000 and detained for as long as 3 months starting July 26.

With the receipt of the appeals, the LTFRB would deliberate on whether to keep, revise, or lift its order within 15 days.

Grab lawyer John Paul Nabua said they argued in their MR that the LTFRB did not inform them when it would lift the moratorium on accepting new driver applicants. This, he said, caused them to continue accept drivers, creating a backlog of drivers they allowed to operate.

Sa MC, hindi sinabi na bawal mag-accredit, so kami naman, patuloy naman kami mag-accredit (The MC did not say that we can’t accredit, so we continued because) we’re expecting na malilift ang moratorium anytime (that the moratorium would be lifted anytime),” Nabua said.

Eh kasi sinasabi naman nila na once makapagsubmit ng position paper i-rereview na natin rules and regulations ng TNCs at TNVS, pero 7 months have passed, wala pa ring nangyayari,”  he added. 

(They were saying that once we submit a position paper, they will review the rules and regulations of TNCs and TNVs, but 7 months have passed, nothing has happened.)

Uber lawyer Roberto Ramiro filed their MR a few hours later, but declined to give details. 

The LTFRB reportedly reached a "compromise" with Grab and Uber during a meeting initiated by senators on Wednesday night, Senator Paolo Benigno "Bam" Aquino IV said on Wednesday.

"We're happy LTFRB, Grab and Uber reached an immediate compromise during the meeting with Senators Grace [Poe] and JV [Ejercito]. Now we can focus on a long term solution to ensure that the riding public is protected," Aquino said in a statement.

Lawmakers, among them Aquino, have also filed bills seeking to make ride-hailing services as an alternative public transport mode.

Grab and Uber earlier allowed their undocumented drivers to continue operations despite the LTFRB order, pending a clarification of the order. – Rappler.com

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers security, crime, and the city of Manila for Rappler. He was chosen as a Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.

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