MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board on Tuesday, May 28 said it will strictly enforce a point-to-point service for UV Express shuttles.
"UV Express units can only pick up and drop off passengers at their designated terminals and are prohibited from picking up and dropping off passengers anywhere in between the two terminals," the LTFRB said in a statement.
The LTFRB said the previous Memorandum Circular (MC) 2009-019, which allowed dropping off and picking up of passengers within a two-kilometer radius, was "hard to enforce" due to violations of the said policy.
"The LTFRB has observed that numerous UV Express Services are in breach of the terms and conditions of their franchise, leading to the rampant practice of loading and unloading of passengers in between their origin and destination, prolonging the turnaround travel time between destinations and making it very difficult on the part of the enforcers to implement the service," the LTFRB said.
The 2019 MC was effective May 16, according to the regulatory board.
In the new MC, LTFRB said that the point-to-point service for UV Express is "not new," citing MC No. 2005-023 and the Public Utility Vehicle (PUV) Modernization Program ordering the same policy.
The 2019 MC merely amended the 2009 policy, abolishing the two-kilometer radius for drop-off and pick-up of passengers.
The LTFRB said that UV Express operators must now establish and identify their terminals as specified in their route.
The policy has drawn flak from some commuters, who slammed what they called the "unfair" rule.
In a press conference on Tuesday, UV Express drivers and operators claimed that the government did not hold any consultations prior to crafting the MC.
"Sana ilagay nila sa isip nila. Wala man lang kaming narinig na consultation na tinanong man lang kami. Ang tanong ng mga pasahero sa amin kaninang umaga: 'Papaano 'yan 'pag pinatupad? Paano po kami?' Anong isasagot namin? Wala, blangko kami," an operator said on Tuesday.
(I hope they take this into account. We were not even consultated about it. Passengers were asking us this morning: 'What happens once that's implemented? What will happen to us?' How will we answer them? We don't know what to tell them.)
LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra III dispelled the claim, saying that consultations started as early as 2018.
"The last one was earlier this year at the Central Office kung saan ipinaliwanag ang madalas na practice ng pagbababa at pagsasakay ng mga pasahero (where we explained the practice of dropping off and picking up passengers) anywhere between destinations, in violation of their franchise," Delgra said.
LTFRB has tapped the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the Inter-Agency Council on Traffic to apprehend UV Express drivers who would violate the policy. – Rappler.com