No newly accredited ride-hailing apps yet – LTFRB

MANILA, Philippines – The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) clarified reports that there are already newly accredited ride-hailing apps in the country.

In a voice message sent to reporters on Monday, April 9, LTFRB Board Member Aileen Lizada said they have yet to accredit new transport network companies (TNCs) that would offer services similar to Grab or Uber.

"Regarding the 3 possible new TNC players, sila po ay nagko-comply pa ng mga requirements. 'Yung isa po na kinausap namin nu'ng Friday, Hero, they are still about to start complying. So wala pa ho kaming ina-accredit na bagong TNC. We are waiting for the compliance of the 3 TNCs po," she said.

(Regarding the 3 possible new TNC players, they are still complying with the requirements. One company that we talked to last Friday, Hero, it is still about to start complying. So we haven't accredited a new TNC. We are waiting for the compliance of the 3 TNCs.)

She made the statement after Transportation Assistant Secretary Elvira Medina said 4 new TNCs have been accredited by the LTFRB.

Lizada earlier said companies Lat Go, Hype, and Owto submitted documents for the LTFRB's approval.

She also said late Saturday, April 7, that Grab's accreditation has yet to be renewed.

Grab and Uber were supposed to have their accreditation renewed in 2017. But the LTFRB lost their accreditation papers, faulting the previous administration for the loss.

Grab's accreditation expired in July 2017, while Uber's expired a month later, in August.

Lizada told Rappler on Sunday, April 8, that Grab has already submitted the needed documents to the LTFRB.

Uber announced on March 26 that it sold its operations in Southeast Asia to Grab. In turn, Uber will receive a 27.5% stake in the business.

The acquisition left thousands of commuters with only Grab as their option for ride-hailing apps.

In a bid to protect commuters, the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) ordered Uber to continue operations until an "in-depth review" of the deal is completed.

But the LTFRB would rather have Uber close shop as scheduled, saying that the company now lacks the manpower to address possible customer complaints. –

Aika Rey

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