No Deactivation of Hatchback Drivers with Complete Docs: Grab PH

Ridesharing firm Grab Philippines said it did not deactivate hatchback cars operating as transportation network vehicle services (TNVS) units with complete documents from the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).

"Hindi kami nag-deactivate ng hatchback na may papeles. If hatchbacks sila na walang papeles, they fall within the same category as a sedan na walang papeles so kaya sila na-deactivate. Walang siningle out na hatchback just to be clear (We did not deactivate hatchbacks that have documents. If these hatchbacks have no documents they fall within the same category as a sedan with no documents, so they were deactivated. We are not singling out hatchbacks just to be clear)," said Grab Philippines President Brian Cu in a press briefing on Tuesday.

The official made the statement as Grab deactivated at least 15,000 TNVS drivers since January this year because they have no provisional authorities or certificates of public convenience from the LTFRB.

For his part, LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra III urged hatchback drivers to substitute their units with vehicles that are compliant with its rules and regulations.

Delgra said the drivers were given a transition period by the Board to be able to comply with its directive.

"Hatchback is not allowed under the rules kasi maliit yung engine (their engines are small). It's not up to the standards for what a taxi service and TNVS is. So as not to disrupt the service and in consideration of those hatchbacks at the time we allowed a transition for hatchbacks but only until after their franchises would expire," Delgra told reporters on the sidelines of its hearing on the deactivation of TNVS drivers.

The LTFRB has issued a memorandum last year allowing hatchbacks to operate only in Metro Manila with lower rates within a three-year transition period.

TNVS applicants are allowed to replace or drop and substitute their accredited vehicles with year 2012 models and up.

A group of hatchback drivers conducted a protest caravan from the Quezon City Memorial Circle to the LTFRB head office to oppose the deactivation of TNVS drivers.

The Metro Manila Hatchback Community appealed to the LTFRB and Grab to extend the general amnesty for their TNVS partners, streamline the application process, and extend the application period for new TNVS slots.

Grab vowed to provide assistance in the filing of applications for TNVS units through its TNVS Assistance Program at Matrix Creation Events Venue in 11 Malakas St., Diliman, Quezon City which will be open from 8 AM to 5 PM from June 10 to 13 and from 8 AM to 2 PM on June 14.

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