LTFRB to accept applications for ride-hailing services again

MANILA, Philippines – The Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) will open franchise applications for ride-hailing services again starting February 5.

In a press briefing on Friday, January 26, LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra III said the regulatory board will implement a new process of applications for Transport Network Vehicle Services (TNVS) permits.

LTFRB said that applicants must submit requirements to the board first. Once the provisional authority (PA) has been released, only then can the applicants approach their desired Transportation Network Companies (TNCs), such as Grab and Uber.

The PA submitted to the TNCs will be the basis for the application of Certificate of Public Convenience (CPC) franchise, the LTFRB said.

Delgra said that some 32,000 slots are open to fill the "common supply base," which was recently set at 45,700 units.

There are around 125,000 units registered under Grab Philippines and Uber, exceeding the cap twice over. (READ: Poe to LTFRB: 'Explain the math' behind cap on ride-hailing vehicles)

The LTFRB said an operator can only apply for a maximum of 3 units. In the case of spouses, the maximum number apply jointly.

Hatchbacks and other compact or smaller sedans are allowed by the regulatory board as long as the vehicles have a piston displacement of no less than 1200 cc and comply with the following dimensions: 

A one-stop shop for processing the permits will be at the LTFRB Central Office in Quezon City.

In 2016, LTFRB suspended acceptance of new applications for TNVS permits for ride-hailing apps due to the rising volume of applications and concern of oversupply of units.

The LTFRB imposed a P5-million fine each on Uber and Grab for allowing its drivers to operate without permits in July 2017. (READ: What's the fuss about the Grab, Uber regulation issue?)

Uber was suspended in August 2017 after the TNC repeatedly defied the board's order to stop taking new drivers into its system. It paid a fine of P190 million. (WATCH: How Uber got suspended and why it matters) – Rappler.com

Aika Rey

Aika Rey covers the Philippine Senate for Rappler. Before writing about politicians, she covered budget, labor, and transportation issues.

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