THE Department of Transportation (DoTr) said it is considering an increase in the number of ride-sharing vehicles in Metro Manila and surrounding areas.

In a statement, the DoTr said that Secretary Arthur P. Tugade ordered the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to review certain provisions in the memorandum circular which limits the supply base of ride-sharing vehicles in Metro Manila. The LTFRB earlier this month capped at 45,000 the number of transport network company (TNC) vehicles in Metro Manila and nearby provinces. Officials refer to this maximum number of vehicles as the common supply base.

The DoTr said that the agency and LTFRB will monitor in the next few weeks the number of booking requests, served and unserved, as well as other factors like number coding, number of working hours, and maintenance schedules. This is to “judiciously arrive” at an objective number for the common supply base.

“Most probably this number might be increased considering the stakeholders, and the riders,” Board Member Aileen Lourdes A. Lizada told reporters in a message.

LTFRB Chairman Martin B. Delgra III said in an earlier statement the idea of a common base supply came from the transport network vehicle service (TNVS) operators and “dual citizen” drivers or those accredited in more than one TNC, adding that with the new order, TNCs are now “free to tap the supply” for their networks.

He noted that the ceiling of 45,000 for Metro Manila was determined in light of the churn rate, number of full-time and part-time TNVS drivers, peak and off-peak hours, number of bookings, and others. The LTFRB will review the number or the cap every three months.

“We assure you that should there be adjustments in the common supply base as a result of the review, the decision would be based on actual data from the different TNCs through DoTr study, and consultations with the public at large. Rest assured that while the DoTr and LTFRB continue to set fair standards, we shall, in the best way we can, exhaust all measures to meet the needs of the public in a platform of transparency, accountability, and good governance,” DoTr said in its statement. — Patrizia Paola C. Marcelo