By Patrizia Paola C. Marcelo
THE LAND Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has imposed new guidelines for ride-sharing services or transport network companies (TNCs), which include identification of drivers and vehicles and a limit to the number of passengers which can be accommodated in a vehicle.
The LTFRB released on Wednesday amendments to memoranda circular (MCs) on TNCs from two years ago. In its amendments, the LTFRB said TNCs Grab Philippines (MyTAXI.PH, Inc.), Uber Philippines (Uber Systems, Inc.) and UHOP are now treated as “transport providers.”
The agency will require transport network vehicle service (TNVS) operators to display stickers on the upper right portion of the windshield/s of their vehicle/s. TNVS drivers will be required to wear and display “in full view of the passenger” an identification card (ID) issued by their respective TNCs.
Drivers will also have a maximum number of seven passengers they can carry in a ride, “but not exceeding the designed seating capacity of the vehicle.”
Imposition of the new rules and other regulations on TNCs will start once a driver accepts a booking request.
“The accountability of the TNCs as a transport provider commences from the acceptance by its TNVS while online….The accountability of the TNVS as a common carrier attaches from the time the TNVS is online and offers its services to the riding public,” the LTFRB said in a Memorandum Circular.
The LTFRB, however, has yet to impose an effectivity date for the new guidelines.
The agency has been in the process of crafting new guidelines for operations of TNCs since August, when it had disputes with TNCs regarding accreditation of drivers.
Several other issues were then raised such as passenger safety and insurance, fare surges, and fare surcharges. The LTFRB and TNCs are continuing to hold dialogues to resolve issues surrounding TNCs.
The regulatory agency is also set to release more guidelines covering other issues in the coming weeks.