LTFRB asks 'Bato,' tech dept to take down new ride-sharing apps

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 18 2017 06:05 PM

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Friday sought the help of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to shut down the operations of new ride-sharing applications that refuse to cooperate with the government.

"If [PNP chief] Mr. (Ronald) Dela Rosa is listening, I would like to request assistance now for PNP and DICT to put down their IP address system," Aileen Lizada, LTFRB board member and spokesperson, said in an interview on radio DZMM.

Arcade City, that dubbed itself as the "Uber alternative", launched its services after the LTFRB suspended the operations of Uber for a month starting August 14.

Wunder Carpool, on the other hand, markets itself as a "carpooling platform", that connects commuters to car owners who are willing to give them a lift at minimal cost.

"Unlike professional taxis, there is no profit for carpool drivers. They only share up to two rides a day and accept a convenient detour in exchange for sharing the cost of the trip with their passengers," Wunder's about page reads.

The new business models are alarming and dangerous as their operations do not adhere to existing policies, Lizada said.

"Hindi namin alam kung hot car yan o nakaw na kotse ang mga ginagamit. Hindi naman alam kung ang mga drivers nila ay may kaso sa court dahil wala tayong NBI, police clearance," Lizada said.

She said the new applications also violate insurance, tax, and business laws.

"When you accept paying passengers, you must be covered by a certain level of regulation, you must be covered by LTFRB-accredited insurance. BIR, paano? How do we regulate their taxes, income, business permits?" she said.

Lizada warned Arcade City, Wunder Carpool, and similar applications that provide ride-sharing services, but insist that they should not be classified as transport network companies.

"It is not for them to decide what kind of government service category they belong in," she said.