Solon: LTFRB punishing ride-hailing firms but not abusive taxis

Sen. Risa Hontiveros criticized on Friday, Aug. 18, the impound report of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on public utility vehicles, calling it “selective and lazy.”

Sen. Risa Hontiveros

Sen. Risa Hontiveros

The data was released by LTFRB through Twitter as a response to the senator’s query on “selective crackdown” on ride-hailing firms but not on abusive taxi drivers and colorum units. Earlier this week, LTFRB suspended the accreditation and operations of Uber for a month, citing several violations.

“It’s not a crackdown if you compare 618 impoundings in a year when transport groups’ estimate of colorum vehicles is at one million in the entire country,” Hontiveros said.”LTFRB’s data prove exactly my point: they are carrying out a selective crackdown to the detriment of the riding public.”

Hontiveros said that the suspension on Uber will not be questioned by the public if LTFRB are as keen on penalizing abusive taxi drivers and colorum vehicles.

The lawmaker also said that regulation of public utility vehicles is also for the benefit of legitimate fleets of public transportation. “Proper and fair regulation contributes to safety and easing traffic,” she added.

Hontiveros pointed out that the data was far too small to be of any use. “Thirty-eight taxis were impounded or issued summons from June 2016 to July 31 2017. That translates to 2.71 impounds per month (14 months),” she furthered.

“It’s a sad set of data. LTFRB should not be surprised if the public is outraged,” she said.

Meanwhile, Sen. JV Ejercito said the order of the LTFRB to allow Uber drivers to transfer to Grab and U-Hop while Uber remains suspended raised more questions than answers.

“With this new order, isn’t the agency essentially attempting to mitigate the problems caused by the very order they issued?” he asked.

He said Uber violated regulations and should be punished, but the punishment should take into consideration the larger interest of the public.

“Is the LTFRB too proud to shorten the suspension period or accede to Uber’s request to just pay a fine in lieu of suspension? Don’t these alternatives drive home the point that no one can get away with violating our rules but at the same time avoiding exacerbating the suffering of Filipino commuters?” Ejercito stated.

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