Press Release
July 28, 2017


The Senate committee on public services chaired by Sen. Grace Poe is scheduled to conduct a public hearing on Thursday, August 3, on the franchise rules on ride-sharing services such as Uber and Grab and the government crackdown on colorum units of transport vehicle network services (TNVS).

The Senate inquiry, in aid of legislation, will be held at 10 a.m. at the Senate Session Hall.

Poe said, "This government must be forward-looking. Many of our commuters now rely on ride-sharing services such as Uber, Grab and U-Hop to travel around the city. TNVS companies 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."

The senator added, "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."

Poe noted that the popularity of Uber and Grab should provide an impetus for franchise holders in public transportation to improve their services.

Among the measures to be tackled in the hearing are Senate Bill Nos. 696 (Sen. Bam Aquino), 1001 (Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian), 1501 (Poe) and 1502 (Sen. Joseph Victor Ejercito) and Senate Resolution Nos. 262 and 430 (Poe), 431 (Gatchalian), 431 (Sen. Joel Villanueva), 433 (Sen. Bam Aquino), 434 (Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara) and 436 (Gatchalian).

Poe's committee will also tackle SBN 340 and 375 authored separately by Poe and Gatchalian seeking to establish a Taxi Passenger Bill of Rights.

The Poe panel has invited Board Member and spokesperson Aileen Lizada of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), 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. The committee also intends to invite drivers' unions.

LTFRB has decided to hold its earlier decision to impound colorum TNVS units plying in Metro Manila after Poe and Ejercito, vice-chair of the committee on public services, met with LTFRB and representatives of Uber and Grab last week.

In 2015, the LTFRB issued Department Order No. 2015-011 which encourages "innovation across all forms of public land transport in order to increase mobility on major thoroughfares, boost travel times, improve the quality, sustainability and reliability of public transport services, and respond to the needs of the modern commuter."

But this objective has quite changed when LTFRB later issued Memorandum Circular 2016-008, which directed its technical division and regional offices not to accept any applications for TNVS proposing to ply the route within Metro Manila or entering Metro Manila.

According to Poe, ride-sharing services provide the comfort and reliability that commuters look for in public transportation, and the LTFRB should strike a balance between regulating TNVS and ensuring that public need for safe, comfortable, and reliable transportation is met.

"We want to improve accountability and promote safer standards for the protection and welfare of our commuters," Poe stressed.

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