MANILA- The Senate Committee on Public Services is set to investigate the policy of the country's transport regulator directing ride-hailing services to stop accepting new applications.
In a resolution Wednesday, committee chair Sen. Grace Poe said that while it is laudable that the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) is moving to regulate "colorum" vehicles or those without a franchise, the agency's policy towards transport network vehicle service (TNVS) units may have "unintended negative effects" on the commuting public.
"Congressional action is necessary to address the issues concerning the legal status of TNVS and to institutionalize their existence as a mode of transportation; thus, until such time that Congress is able to pass a law, the LTFRB should review its policy and defer on making hasty judgments against TNVS that will ultimately affect the convenience of the riding public," Poe said in Senate Resolution No. 430.
Ride hailing services Grab and Uber were earlier fined P5 million each by the LTFRB for alleged violations of their accreditation.
The LTFRB had said up to 50,000 active Grab and Uber units were not registered.
The two companies have paid their respective fines and were allowed by the transport regulator to appeal their alleged colorum violations, effectively staying the LTFRB's apprehension order against the firms' unregistered vehicles.
The agency was supposed to begin apprehending unregistered vehicles on Wednesday.
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.