LTFRB halts apprehension order vs undocumented Uber, Grab drivers

MANILA, Philippines—The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) will stop apprehending colorum Transport Network Vehicle Service (TNVS) drivers until July 26, the regulatory board announced on Friday, July 14.

"There is no order yet issued by the board to apprehend colorum TNVS. We await the compliance by the [transport network companies] on this matter before an order is issued," LTFRB board member Aileen Lizada said in a text message to reporters.

They will start policing undocumented drivers again on July 26, 2017, or 15 days after their July 11 show-cause order to the companies.

The order demanded that Grab and Uber:

Grab and Uber were recently fined P5 million each for allowing their drivers to work in Metro Manila despite their lack of permits.

During their show-cause hearing held on Tuesday, July 11, both companies disclosed that about 80% of their drivers are driving without either a provisional authority (PA) permits or a certificate of public convenience (CPC) franchise.

Of Uber's 10,054 active drivers, 5,850 were rejected to get PAs while 3,505 are still in the process of acquiring them.

Grab has yet to submit its tally to the board, but it had admitted to also having the same ratio of drivers who drive without permits.

The LTFRB stopped releasing PAs since July 21, 2016 to limit the inflow of new TNVS drivers even as government tries to craft better guidelines for TNCs.

If the LTFRB were to follow its initial guidelines in their Memorandum Circular 2015-016, Uber and Grab should have been closed down, but because of "public demand" they were only slapped with the fine.

Starting July 26, undocumented Grab and Uber drivers may be fined as high as P120,000 and detained for as long as 3 months. –

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.