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Senate hearing on franchise rules for TNVS set August 3

Photo from PNA

MANILA, July 28 — Ride-sharing applications Grab and Uber will be given a chance to air their sentiments on franchise rules set by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) in a public hearing set next week.

Senator Grace Poe, chair of the Senate Committee on Public Services, said the public hearing on ride-sharing franchise rules and the government crackdown on its colorum units will take place on August 3 (Thursday).

Poe said that among the measures to be tackled in the hearing are bills that seek to legitimize and recognize ride-sharing applications noting that the popularity of Grab and Uber should provide an impetus for franchise holders in public transportation to improve their services.

“This government must be forward-looking,” Poe said in a press statement noting that ride-sharing services also known as transport network vehicle services (TNVS) provide services that taxi operators have inadequately provided in the past decade — point-to-point pick-up and delivery, standardized fare, safe and comfortable rides.

“We should tap available technology and determine ways to integrate ride-sharing services into our existing public transportation system to address the increase in traffic demand. Our commuters deserve to be given more choices,” she added.

Expected to attend the hearing are LTFRB board member and spokesperson Aileen Lizada, Grab Philippines Public Affairs Manager Leo Gonzales, Uber Philippines Government Relations and Public Policy Head Yves Gonzales, National Center for Commuter Safety and Protection President Maricor Acol, and transport experts Rene Santiago and Primitivo Cal. Drivers’ unions are also welcomed to attend.

This hearing comes after the LTFRB last July 19, decided to hold its decision to impound colorum TNVS units plying in Metro Manila.

Poe and Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito, the committee vice-chair, met with LTFRB and representatives of Grab and Uber to convince them to hold its decision to impound colorum TNVS for the meantime.

“We want to improve accountability and promote safer standards for the protection and welfare of our commuters,” Poe said.

She stressed that LTFRB should “strike a balance” between regulating TNVS and ensuring that public need for safe, comfortable, and reliable transportation is met. (PNA)

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