LTFRB clarifies: Tugade wants share in Grab, Uber taxes

MANILA, Philippines – Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) chief Martin Delgra III clarified Thursday, July 20, what Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade meant when he said the government should have a share in the income of Grab and Uber drivers.

Delgra said his boss was referring to “colorum” drivers – or those operating without permits from government – when he said he wanted the government to get a share in the earnings of the ride-hailing drivers.

On Wednesday, Tugade said in a press briefing in Malacañang: “Kailangan diyan may share din diyan 'yung gobyerno, 'yung kinikita doon. Kung kailangan may mekanismo at tsaka pamamaraan niyan na 'yung plete na binabayaran o 'yung kita na inaambag, eh ibahagi 'nyo naman sa gobyerno.”

(The government should have a share in their earnings. If needed, there should be a mechanism and a way that the government gets a share in the fares what [the drivers] get or what the share they contribute [to Grab and Uber]. You should give the government a share.)

The secretary's statement was met with online rage from regular Grab and Uber riders.

Ang punto ni Secretary Tugade at ng LTFRB, kapag colorum ang isang sasakyan, walang habol d'yan ang gobyerno. Paano mo masisingil ng tamang tax kung hindi nga sila rehistrado?” Delgra said in a press statement on Thursday.

(The point of Secretary Tugade and the LTFRB is, if a vehicle is “colorum,” then the government go after them. How can you charge taxes if they are not registered?)

“Like any business, TNCs and their partners are covered by laws of taxation and they must give what’s due to the government," Delgra added.

However, the LTFRB cannot collect taxes anytime soon.

Their hands are tied since they had given Grab and Uber until July 26 before apprehending some 26,600 colorum drivers, whose numbers have increased since 2016.

Delaying the apprehension further, the transport network companies both filed motions for reconsideration against the LTFRB’s order.

According to LTFRB board member Aileen Lizada, they hold another meeting with Grab and Uber on July 26 to discuss how to solve the regulation deadlock. –

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.