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'Hindi makatarungan': Grab, Uber drivers slam LTFRB for limiting cars

MANILA, Philippines – Grab and Uber drivers' group TeamSpeed was distraught upon hearing that the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) had limited the maximum units of ride-hailing app-registered cars.

"Ito ay hindi makatarungan para sa lahat bagkus pinapakita lamang ng LTFRB ang mahinang pamumuno (This is unjust for all, and the LTFRB is simply showing weak management)," TeamSpeed said in a statement, sent to Rappler by group founder and president Bobby Coronel.

TeamSpeed said the LTFRB had repeatedly given assurances that they would not put a cap on the number of transport network vehicle service (TNVS) cars in the country. The LTFRB supposedly only changed its mind recently.

"Nu'ng nasa Senate hearing kami, ang sabi ay walang cap, then all of [a] sudden, [in the] past technical working groups bigla na lang nagbago in a snap (When we were at the Senate, they said they would not put a cap, then all of a sudden, in the past technical working groups they changed their mind in a snap)," the group said.

TeamSpeed will appeal the decision of the board, and will demand the data or the rationale behind limiting the number of TNVS cars to 45,700.

The LTFRB estimated that Grab has 55,000 units and Uber has 77,000 registered in their systems. Around 50% of them cross between the two platforms – a practice called "dual citizenship."

"Papatayin ninyo ang hanapbuhay ng mga Pilipino (You will kill the livelihood of Filipinos)," TeamSpeed said, addressing the LTFRB.

Why impose a limit?

The LTFRB started limiting TNVS units as it believes these cars worsen the traffic in Metro Manila's clogged streets.

The LTFRB previously said that as more and more cars are being brought into the metro every year, road-widening projects simply cannot keep up.

Transport network companies (TNCs), or the companies that manage the ride-hailing apps, also found themselves in trouble as they allowed thousands of their drivers to operate despite lacking proper registration papers.

The regulatory deadlock was tackled at the Senate, where lawmakers demanded that the LTFRB fix the mess immediately for the benefit of drivers and commuters. (READ: Uber to LTFRB: Don't impose ancient rules on technological innovations)

The LTFRB promised to release more orders to regulate the relatively new transportation technologies. – 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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