MANILA - The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Wednesday stressed the importance of regulating ride-sharing firms Grab and Uber, and their driver-partners.
LTFRB spokesperson Aileen Lizada explained that while the two transport network companies (TNC) are operating in the digital platform, their driver-partners are doing service to the public.
"While you're only in the digital platform, you still connect to the riding public through the partners ninyo," she told DZMM, quoting from statements made during a House of Representatives inquiry on the matter.
Lizada said regulating TNCs and its transport network vehicle service (TNVS) units does not mean the agency opposes innovation. She said officials just want to make sure there is accountability on the part of the ride-sharing firms.
She pointed out that under existing laws and the business design of TNCs, Uber may not be charged in case it gets into an accident that results in a passenger's death.
"We just need to regulate the TNVS and see a level of accountability on the part of Uber and Grab, the same manner we treat the taxis, jeeps, buses," she said.
Lizada added that, in the current system, it is usually the LTFRB that undertakes franchise verification when public utility vehicles figure in accidents.
The agency is also the one that coordinates with the Passenger Accident Management Insurance Agency in these situations.
But in the case of Grab and Uber, the LTFRB would still need to text the firms to verify plate numbers and get all the information they need.
"'Pag may nagreklamo sa amin, ako pa mismo ang nagte-text sa Uber at Grab, ito bang plate number ay sa inyo?" she said.
Lizada said both Grab and Uber have recently submitted to the LTFRB their respective master lists of TNVS.
LTFRB officials are set to meet with a technical working group to discuss how to regulate Grab and Uber.
The LTFRB was supposed to start apprehending an estimated 50,000 unlicensed Grab and Uber units on July 26, but the agency allowed the two firms to first file their respective reconsideration pleas to its order penalizing their 'colorum' violations.