LTFRB Pushes Back Processing of TNVS Applications to March 5

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has reportedly pushed back the processing of new applications for transportation network vehicle services (TNVS) units to March 5, following Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade's order to review the LTFRB’s recently-issued memorandum which restricts the total number of TNVS units nationwide to just 45,700. Originally, the processing of new applications for TNVS units was to start on February 5.

Under LTFRB Memorandum Circular 2018-003, the common base of 45,700 TNVS units is broken down as follows:

Metro Manila -- 45,000 TNVS units

Metro Cebu -- 500 TNVS units

Pampanga -- 200 TNVS units

According to the agency, the cap on TNVS units was determined from relevant data given by the leading TNCs, "taking into consideration churning rate, percentage of full-time  and part-time TNVS, peak and off-peak hours and average daily bookings."

As part of the DOTr's review of the LTFRB's memorandum, it will monitor the number of requested TNVS bookings per day and the number of served and unserved rides of transportation network companies (TNCs) within the next few weeks. In addition, the DOTr will look at the other factors affecting the availability of TNVS units, such as the number-coding system, maintenance schedules, and the drivers' working hours to "determine an objective number for the common supply base which will be based also on the official list of accredited TNVS from Grab, Uber, and U-Hop."

For its part, soon after the LTFRB issued the memorandum that TNVS operator Grab appealed to the agency to increase the cap on the TNVS units to 75,000 so as not to hamper its ability to service its customers.

"I think 75,000 would be the number of unique drivers on the road right now," said Grab Philippines country head Brian Cu. So 'yung lumabas na 45,000, medyo nagulat kami (So we were shocked when LTFRB came up with a 45,000 supply cap on TNVS)."

Cu added that the LTFRB should consider using its master list of active drivers to be prioritized during the applications.

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