Grab, Uber stay for now, reach compromise with LTFRB

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 19 2017 06:44 PM

MANILA- The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Wednesday allowed ride-sharing services Grab and Uber to appeal their alleged colorum violations, effectively staying its apprehension order against the firms' unregistered vehicles. 

Sen. JV Ejercito, vice chair of the Senate Committee on Public Services, said representatives from the LTFRB and the two transportation network companies (TNCs) met Wednesday and reached a compromise. 

“After a brief meeting, the LTFRB said they will just wait for Grab and Uber to file for a Motion for Reconsideration, which in effect would legally suspend and extend the execution of LTFRB’s July 11 order,” Ejercito said in a statement.

In the order, the LTFRB had warned that it would apprehend "colorum" Grab and Uber cars starting July 26, citing as many as 50,000 unlicensed units. 

The LTFRB crackdown had drawn heavy criticism from commuters, among whom ride-sharing services have become popular amid poor services of regular metered taxis and other unreliable modes of public transport. 

Sen. Grace Poe, the committee chair, said the compromise would allow unregistered Grab and Uber cars to continue operating until the appeal is resolved. 

“Although the LTFRB will push through with executing their memorandum circular, they will allow the TNCs to file their motion for reconsideration and pending the resolution of the latter, will allow existing ‘colorum’ TNVS (transport network vehicle service) to continue providing service,” Poe said in a statement.

Grab said it would appeal the LTFRB’s apprehension order.

"Grab is filing a motion for reconsideration tomorrow (Thursday) which will start the process for further discussion on resolving the issues on colorum drivers,” Grab country head Brian Cu said in a statement.

Poe had on Tuesday criticized the LTFRB's long process of issuing permits to ride-sharing services.

Talks between the LTFRB and the two firms will continue next week.

“Let us allow the LTFRB to do its job. They have to regulate common carriers to ensure accountability and to prevent the “dynamic pricing scheme” of TNVS from overcharging passengers during peak hours,” Poe said.

“On the other hand, government must be forward-looking. Ride-hailing services is now a necessity because these provide the comfort and reliability that many of our people look for in public transportation,” she said.

Uber on Tuesday paid the P5 million fine for alleged violations of their accreditation.