LTFRB to accept new transport network service applications on February 5

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 26) — Starting on February 5, government regulators will be accepting applications for new transport network vehicle services (TNVS).

More than 32,000 slots are open, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Chairman Martin Delgra announced Friday.

As of January 24 this year, only 12,789 have TNVS units have been granted provisional authority to travel or are in the middle of the application process.

The available slots are set to fill in vacancies in the 45,000 TNVS unit limit the LTFRB imposed in Metro Manila.

Related: LTFRB cuts down TNVS units nationwide

LTFRB also announced that applicants will now have to submit requirements to their office first. Once provided with provisional authority, the applicants can then approach desired transport network companies, such as Grab and Uber.

This is contrary to the old application process, where drivers or operators would approach the companies first and then seek accreditation from the regulatory board.

Delgra announced that the holding room in its office in Quezon City will be a "one stop shop" for applicants.

Each applicant can apply for up to three units. The cars must not be more than three years old from the date of manufacturing.

Hatchbacks and other four-door compact or small Sedan vehicles will be accepted, provided it has a piston displacement of no less than 1200 cc. It must also comply with the following dimensions:

  • Overall length: 3,990 mm;
  • Overall width: 1,635 mm;
  • Overall height: 1,455 mm;
  • Wheelbase: 2,450 mm

LTFRB insists the 45,000 cap on TNVS units is enough to meet demand in Metro Manila, which is notorious for its traffic and train breakdowns.

The number is set to be reviewed in three months.

The new guidelines for applications come after a strained year between the government and transport network companies.

In August, Uber was suspended for violating a previous LTFRB order not to process and approve new applications for accreditation. It paid the government a P190 million fine and its drivers over P299 million in financial compensation.

This comes on top of a P5 million fine paid both Grab and Uber in July for allowing colorum vehicles to operate.

According to a Memorandum Circular released on January 18, Grab had 55,000 units, while Uber has 70,000. About 45 to 50 percent of registered units switch between the two transport network companies.

CNN Philippines correspondent Ina Andolong contributed to this story.