Before the end of the month, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) will start apprehending drivers accredited by ride-hailing companies and impound their cars if they continue to operate as public conveyances without franchises.
After imposing a P5-million fine on ride-sharing companies Grab and Uber, the LTFRB said that by July 26, drivers face P120,000 in fine and their vehicles would be impounded for at least three months if found to be operating without a certificate of public conveyance or provisional license from the agency.
The LTFRB action came after agency officials met with representatives of the ride-hailing companies Uber, Grab and U-Hop on Tuesday.
During the meeting, Grab and Uber representatives admitted they listed thousands of accredited drivers in their databases despite these drivers not having franchises to operate from the LTFRB.
In its new order on Tuesday, the LTFRB told the ride-hailing company representatives to “cease with dispatch” the operations of these drivers by July 26.
Drivers claiming to be affiliated with Grab and Uber but without LTFRB franchises would be apprehended.
Aileen Lizada, LTFRB board member, said drivers with expired franchises but had applied for renewal would be allowed to continue using their cars as public conveyances.
Lizada said they ordered the ride-hailing companies to submit before the end of the month their updated list of accredited drivers.
Based on the LTFRB records, only more than 3,700 app-based drivers had been authorized to operate. But representatives said Grab and Uber had accredited at least 56,000 drivers.
The LTFRB had wanted to revoke the accreditation of Grab and Uber because of several violations. Among these was the failure of the ride-hailing firms to screen drivers before endorsement to the LTFRB and the accreditation of drivers who don’t have franchises to use their cars as public conveyances.
But because Grab and Uber serve a significant segment of the commuter population, the two were just fined P5 million, according to Lizada.
Also because more and more vehicles are packing Metro Manila’s already congested roads, the LTFRB asked the ride-hailing firms to help set a limit on the number of privately owned cars that should be allowed to be used as public conveyances.
Of the 9.25 million registered cars in the entire country, 2.4 million are in the metropolis. —Jovic Yee
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