LTFRB welcomes CA decision to junk petition vs. TNCs

MANILA — The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) welcomed on Tuesday the Court of Appeals (CA) decision to dismiss a transport group’s petition versus transport network vehicle services (TNVS) such as Grab, Uber and U-Hop.

Last April 29, the Metro Cebu Taxi Operators Association Inc. (MCTOA) filed a petition to halt operations of TNVS, noting that they engaged in public service business without a certificates of public convenience (CPCs) and that they were a detriment to legitimate taxi operators.

The court, however, said in an order that petitioners’ doubts on the capability of the assailed Department Orders and Memorandum Circulars to protest traditional public transport services from TNVS are “not legally sufficient to strike down said administrative issuances.”

“There is no clear and apparent reason to question the directives of the LTFRB in relation to TNCs and TNVS as these generally fall under its power and function “to issue, amend, revise, suspend or cancel Certificates of Public Convenience (CPC) or permits authorizing the operation of public land transportation services provided by motorized vehicles and to prescribe the appropriate terms and conditions therefore,” it pointed out.

LTFRB, meanwhile, welcomed the decision and reiterated that the TNVS category was created in order to better serve the commuting public, particularly by providing a modern, convenient, and safer alternative to taxis, UV Express, and others.

The Board stressed that app-based ride-sharing services were an innovation to the country’s transport industry and encouraged public utility vehicle (PUV) operators to do their part in providing better transport service.

Also this month, transport group Stop & Go filed a graft complaint against outgoing LTFRB Chairman Atty. Winston Ginez and outgoing Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya for allowing TNVS operation.

In a complaint filed to the Ombudsman, Stop & Go head Jun Magno argued that DOTC and LTFRB allowed TNVS to operate without securing a franchise or even a certificate of public convenience (CPC) which are both requirements for PUVs.

Magno further said that TNVS only worsen traffic and is a disadvantage to PUV operators and drivers who lose income and passengers. PNA/