TNVS drivers, operators call for gov't to review cap on vehicles

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Around 1,000 ride-sharing service drivers and operators gathered at the Quezon City Circle Thursday.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 2) — Around 1,000 ride-sharing service drivers and operators called on the government to reconsider limiting the number of Transport Network Vehicle Service (TNVS) units in Metro Manila.

They said the plan to impose a cap of 45,000 units, nearly a third of the estimated 125,000 TNVS units currently plying the metro, could affect about 75,000 drivers.

READ: LTFRB cuts down TNVS units nationwide

Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Chairman Martin Delgra announced on Jan. 26 that it is opening 32,000 TNVS slots starting Feb. 5. As of Jan. 24, only 12,789 have TNVS units have been granted provisional authority to travel or are in the middle of the application process.

READ: LTFRB to accept new transport network service applications on February 5

"Marami pong mawawalan ng trabaho," said Tiger City PH Transportation chair Glen Jacobe. "Maraming magugutom ng pamilya, so kami po nandito para mag-unify sa government na taasan ang capping."

[Translation: Many will lose their jobs. Many families will go hungry, so we are unifying to call on the government to raise the capping.]

"Meron akong kasamahang mga miyembro na OFW na piniling umuwi dito sa Pilipinas para makasama mga pamilya nila at kumuha ng unit at ipasok sa Grab at Uber para makatrabaho nang maayos," said Allen Gallapon of the Metro Manila Hatchback Community. "Saan mo dadalhin 'tong mga 'to kung halibawang bigla mong tatanggalin?"

[Translation: I have some members who are OFWs who chose to come home to the Philippines to be with the families and they got a unit to use in Grab and Uber so they could have a decent job. Where would you take these people if they're suddenly out of a job?

Jacobe said even with the current numbers, there are still not enough TNVS units.

"Kitang-kita po natin na kulang pa ang drivers sa mga riding passengers natin na makapag-book sa TNCs," he said. "Kulang po lalo na kapag dumating ang rush hour."

[Translation: We see that we lack drivers, compared to riding passengers who book through TNCs. We lack drivers especially during rush hour.

Meanwhile, several female drivers are also calling on transport authorites to raise the cap since many of them are part-timers who either have day jobs or need to take care of their families.

"Part timers do not spend more than 5-10 hours on the road," said Grab driver Arlene Camorongan. "We do part-time like driving because we need extra after work or after we take care of our families."

The groups said they did not come to protest, but to reach out to the government.

In a Monday statement, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade ordered the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board to review the cap.

"We assure you that should there be adjustments in the common supply base as a result of the review, the decision would be based on actual data from the different transport network companies, thorough DOTr study, and consultations with the public at large," the agency said.

Initially planned for February, transport regulators announced this week that the imposition of the cap will be delayed to March.

CNN Philippines Digital Producer VJ Bacungan contributed to this report.