GRAB Philippines has called on the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to maximize the slots given by the government agency to the transport network vehicle service.

In a media briefing yesterday, Grab Philippines President Brian P. Cu said that the LTRFB has allocated the company with a supply cap of 65,000 slots, which have not been maximized. He said that a total of 55,000 slots have been opened but there are 10,000 slots yet to be awarded.

Mr. Cu added that of the 55,000 slots that had been awarded, some slots are occupied by vehicles that were previously active but are now inactive, or slots that were reserved by applicants but ended up not proceeding with the application process.

According to Grab Philippines (MyTaxi.PH, Inc.), as of February 2020, there are around 33,000 active drivers daily, a decline of 2,000 drivers from the 35,000 count in December 2019. The current count is well below the 55,000 total registered slots allocated by LTFRB. In addition, an estimated figure of 10,000 drivers out of the 55,000 awarded slots are inactive.

Mr. Cu asked LTFRB to heed the calls of Grab Philippines to open up the remaining 10,000 slots allocated to Grab PH or recycle slots occupied by the inactive drivers with existing franchises in order to provide a better service to the commuting public.

The company was doing everything it could to deter the drivers from “churning out,” he said. It also extends its assistance to its drivers by giving out churning incentives, reaching out to the operators, and offering car servicing loans to cars that have logged high mileages.

It also provides the LTRFB with a list of inactive drivers in order to determine who should be cut off and deactivated.

“We hope that these insights and findings would enable them to form informed decisions on policies, especially those affecting the welfare of both our commuters and driver-partners,” Mr. Cu said.

The decline in the number of active drivers resulted in a commuting problem where three million booking requests are served by the 35,000 active drivers, causing many commuters to wait for hours for a ride or are left stranded.

“Our main goal of urging the LTFRB to maximize the current supply cap is for us to be able to service the ride-hailing passengers more effectively, and to hopefully avoid the December 2019 situation from happening again, where commuters are unable to get a car for hours or worse left stranded during the holidays,” Mr. Cu added. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave