Grab, Uber riders only a minority – LTFRB

MANILA, Philippines – Grab and Uber riders constitute only a minority of the commuting public, but they're just noisier on social media.

This was the message of Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) board member Aileen Lizada when she spoke with transport groups on Wednesday, July 26.

The transport groups again slammed the "special treatment" given to transport network vehicle service (TNVS) operators.

"[In 2015, we recorded] 21.5 million trips a day. Uber and Grab, they [each] have 150 [thousand] trips a day, meaning 300,000, meaning 2% of 21.5 million," Lizada said.

"Sila lang ho 'yung maingay sa social media (They're just noisier on social media), [but] definitely government will not budge, we will not be allowed or influenced because of social media," she added. (READ: LTFRB tells Grab, Uber: 'We will not succumb to pressure')

Lizada admitted, however, that the 2% still constitutes a lot of riders and drivers, thus the P5-million fine that the LTFRB imposed on each transport network company (TNC) for allowing thousands of drivers to operate with expired or no permits.

According to the LTFRB's latest estimate, there are at least 42,000 Grab and Uber drivers, of which 15,400 at most have adequate papers to operate. (READ: LTFRB clarifies: Tugade wants share in Grab, Uber taxes)

"If we cancel their accreditation, patay ang riding public, patay ang TNVS, taob 'yung kaldero nila, ayaw namin 'yun. Gusto lang namin TNCs mag-comply kasi maaalanganin ang TNVS," Lizada said.

(If we cancel their accreditation, the riding public will be harmed, the TNVS will be hit hard, they won't have anything to eat. We don't want that. We just want the TNCs to comply with the rules.)

Lizada, along with other LTFRB board members, will be meeting again with Grab and Uber on Wednesday afternoon to further discuss the regulation of ride-hailing applications. (READ: Bam Aquino to LTFRB: Work with Uber, Grab on reasonable standards)

They are also set to release their verdict on the TNCs' motions for reconsideration which delayed the apprehension of "colorum" TNVS drivers. –

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.