As Uber hits the brakes, TNC applicants eye share of riders

While Uber stares at a one-month 'stop light,' others see it as a 'go.' 

According to Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) board member Aileen Lizada, they have received many Transport Network Company (TNC) pitches from various businessmen ever since their regulation mess with Grab and Uber.

Marami nang lumapit na mga TNCs…Sa ngayon, as of last week meron nang [nagpresent] na isa and then we were speaking to another,” Lizada told reporters in the sidelines after they junked Uber’s appeal.

(A lot of TNCs which have approached us....For now, as of last week, there was already one which presented, and we are speaking to another.)

Lizada said their first applicant was U-go. Lizada declined to give the service's selling point, however. For the other TNC preparing to file its papers, she hinted that its application will be connected to taxis.

At stake is a demand of 300,000 phone-booked trips per day, which Grab and Uber have cornered to each make P150 to P180 million a month, the LTFRB estimated.

All of the applicants are welcome, Lizada said, as long as they comply to LTFRB regulations.

For one, car-based TNC U-Hop has not been penalized as it has followed all of the LTFRB's orders.

“We have learned from what had happened,” Lizada said. “At least we now know ano pag-aralan mo (what we need to study).”

“If you give the TNCs too much room there will be always a subject to abuse, so from the start, as you, before you accredit them, you lay down the terms and conditions,” Lizada said.

The new TNCs won't be getting their share easily, however, as the LTFRB has not lifted its self-imposed moratorium which barred new drivers.

This means the prospective TNCs can only get drivers by inviting present LTFRB-accredited Uber, Grab or U-Hop drivers to join their ranks.

Lizada also reminded the TNCs that the livelihood of some 120,000 drivers is on the line.

Kasi kung magkakamali ang TNC, grabe ang epekto (Because when TNCs commit mistakes, the effects are severe). You see it's a domino effect with the [drivers]. We do not want this to happen again,” Lizada said. – Rappler.com

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.

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