Grab, Uber file appeal on LTFRB suspension order on colorum vehicles

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 20) — Transport network companies (TNC) Grab and Uber on Thursday each filed an appeal on the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) order banning operators and drivers without permits.

The LTFRB on July 11 ordered the suspension of operations of some 50,000 colorum vehicles, or those without government franchise, beginning July 26. It said only those with temporary permits called Provisional Authority, or full permits called Certificate of Public Convenience can operate.

However, the motions for reconsideration filed by the TNCs allow their drivers to still operate even without franchise, until a decision is made on the appeals.

Grab's lawyer, John Paul Nabua, said it is unfair that the government still won't grant franchises to new vehicles registered with TNCs, as new drivers had to be enlisted to replace those that leave.

Only 4,000 out of the 28,000 Grab vehicles have permits.

"In the meantime, 'yung memorandum circular na sinususpend yung pag-accept nung applications ay hindi naman sinasabi na bawal kang mag-accredit. So kami naman, patuloy kaming nag-a-accredit kasi we were expecting na mali-lift yung moratorium anytime eh," Nabua said.

[Translation: in the meantime, the memorandum circular suspending the acceptance of applications does not say we accrediting is banned. So, we continued accrediting because we were expecting for the moratorium to be lifted anytime.]

The moratorium on franchises has been in place since July 2016, and TNCs have agreed to abide by the conditions to lift the freeze.

He added the LTFRB should improve on the process of getting transport permits because thesestand in the way of better options for commuters.

Both TNCs paid the P5-million fine imposed by regulators, with Uber paying the amount on Tuesday and Grab on Thursday, ahead of the July 26 deadline.

TNCs must pay taxes

Meanwhile, LTFRB chair Martin Delgra III said on Thursday TNCs are required "to pay fair and correct taxes to the government," following the remarks of Transportation Secretary Arturo Tugade on Tuesday that the government wants a share OF their earnings.

"Ang punto ni Secretary Tugade at ng LTFRB, kapag colorum ang isang sasakyan, walang habol dyan ang gobyerno. Paano mo masisingil ng tamang tax kung hindi nga sila rehistrado?" Delgra said in a press release.

[Translation: Secretary Tugade and the LTFRB's point is, if a vehicle is colorum, the government doesn't have a hold on that. How could you collect proper tax if they're unregistered?]

He added the TNCs and their partners are like any other businesses that are covered by taxation laws and must give what is due to the government.

"Under existing laws, the TNCs, owner of vehicles, and drivers who are earning from this business all have tax accountabilities," Delgra said.