Gov’t to accept Uber, Grab franchise applications on February 5

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By Arra B. Francia, Reporter

STARTING February 5, the government will start accepting franchise applications for vehicles to be used on ride-hailing platforms despite setting a cap on the number of cars it will be allowing on the road.

“We are already in the thick of preparations, like preparing the receiving area, a one-stop shop for applications…we are anticipating a lot of transactions,” Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Chairman Martin Delgra said in a press conference in Quezon City on Friday.

The memorandum circular for the acceptance of applications will be effective on February 3, Saturday, so registration for transport network vehicle services (TNVS) will start on the Monday following its effectivity.

The transport authority’s acceptance of new registrations follows its release of Memorandum Circular 2018-03 last week, which states that it will set a common supply base of 45,000 for all TNV units in Metro Manila, 500 in Metro Cebu, and 200 in Pampanga.

Currently, the LTFRB has a total of 14,789 units under its registration, 2,850 of which have franchises, 199 have pending applications, 10,919 are undergoing appeal for registration, while 812 have valid provisions that were issued.

Considering the cap the LTFRB has set, a total of 30,911 TNVs units will be accepted in this new round of applications.

The agency will be reviewing this cap every three months to assess whether there is a need to raise or decrease the number of TNV units it will be allowing on the road.

The 45,000-limit was based on the number TNVs such as Uber Philippines (Uber Systems, Inc.) submitted when it ordered the companies to give financial assistance to partner drivers following its suspension, Mr. Delgra said.

Sought for comment, TNVs operator Uber Philippines said it has requested a meeting with the LTFRB to discuss the next steps. Rival Grab Philippines (MyTAXI.PH, Inc.) meanwhile did not respond to inquiries.