LTFRB to regulate Uber, other taxi apps

Firefighters struggle to put out the fire at a residential area in Andrews Avenue in Maricaban District, Pasay City Sunday. The fire, which reached its fourth alarm, razed 3,000 houses, according to reports. (MNS photo)

Firefighters struggle to put out the fire at a residential area in Andrews Avenue in Maricaban District, Pasay City Sunday. The fire, which reached its fourth alarm, razed 3,000 houses, according to reports. (MNS photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) – Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board chairman Winston Ginez said they are planning to regulate taxi booking apps such as Grab Taxi, Easy Taxi and Uber.

During a hearing of the House committee on transportation, Ginez said the draft order would officially categorize these apps as “transport network companies.”

These are distinct from transport service vehicles which can be public utility vehicles accredited by the TNCs.

Ginez insisted that these companies will be regulated, citing public safety. They will be required to have certificates of public conveyance before operating once the rules are implemented.

The draft rules are the product of consultations with stakeholders.

Ginez said TNCs cater to “millennials” who have access to digital apps. TNCs will be be required to have separate insurance aside from passenger insurance of operators.

TNCs must have zero tolerance for drug and alcohol use by their drivers.

The LTFRB said they will not accredit TNCs who won’t take liabilities for any problems in the operations.

The TNC definition doesn’t cover pre-booked taxi services via text or phone call, and should be done by a digital platform.

The LTFRB said TNCs are not to be considered public utility vehicles but they will still be accredited.

Ginez said the LTFRB is supportive of new approaches to addressing inadequacies and encourage new innovations.

Meanwhile, House committee chairman Cesar Sarmiento says he will file a resolution asking that government make mandatory the retesting of holders of professional drivers’ licenses.(MNS)

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