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Grab drivers seek law for ride-hailing services to avoid gov’t ‘over-regulation’

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Grab
AFP

Drivers of Grab Philippines on Friday sought a law covering ride-hailing companies after they called out the government’s “over-regulation” when it stopped them from charging extra for waiting time during trips.

Owing to the absence of such a law, the government has supposedly failed to consider the business model of transport network companies (TNC) and transport network vehicle services (TNVS), the head of an organization composed of 38 driver groups said.

As a result, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and Grab continue to “clash” with one another, Melissa B. Redulla, who leads the TNVS Leaders Council (TLC).

“The government seems unprepared for the arrival of such a business to the Philippines. They keep trying to use the same laws they use on public utility vehicles, which I think is a problem,” she said during a briefing on Friday.

Drivers also asked the LTFRB to lift its suspension on the P2 per minute waiting time charge, as they said they earn very little now because of low fares.

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If the issue is left unresolved, it is the riding public that loses the most, she said.

After the suspension was issued on April 20, Grab already filed a motion for reconsideration, but the government has yet to respond to the appeal.

Increasing gasoline prices have made it more difficult for Grab drivers to make ends meet, said Ms. Redulla, who is a driver-operator herself.

Before the P2-minute waiting charge was suspended, she said she used to get P3,000 gross out of 20 trips daily.

“Imagine, you drive 15 hours, 18 hours a day. Sixteen completed trips. And you get a gross of P2,000?” she said.

For his part, Winson S. Esteras, representing the Coalition of TNVS Providers, said that the group still hopes that the LTFRB “would consider their situation.”

“We still hope that the government, especially the LTFRB, would give us consideration on what we really deserve based on gasoline and other expenses that we need to operate,” he said. — Denise A. Valdez

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