Grab welcomes DOTr order on hatchbacks, wants it to become permanent

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 19) — Ride-hailing company Grab said it welcomed the recent order by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) allowing hatchback units to operate, and hopes it will become a permanent arrangement.

Speaking to CNN Philippines Balitaan Friday, Grab Philippines Spokesperson Nicka Hosaka said, "Itong issue on hatchbacks, matagal nang nakikipagugnayan ang Grab and kasama ng ibang stakeholders natin with the LTFRB (Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board) and the DOTr... Itong statement ng DOTR, meron silang two directives. First one, to implement yung current MC (memorandum circular) ng LTFRB, 'yan 'yung tumutukoy sa mga hatchback na part ng masterlist... And second... 'yun nga, nakita yung efficiency ng mga allow them to permanently operate as TNVS (transport network vehicle service). That's what we welcome."

[Translation: Grab and other stakeholders have been coordinating with the LTFRB and DOTr on the issue with hatchbacks... The DOTr statement has two directives. First to implement the current LTFRB MC saying the hatchbacks must be in the masterlist... And second...seeing the efficiency of the allow to them to permanently operate as TNVS. That's what we welcome.]

READ: DOTr orders LTFRB to allow hatchback ride-share units to operate

Hosaka said they hope hatchbacks will also be allowed to apply for future TNVS slots.

Under the order, all accredited hatchback units will be allowed to operate as public transportation only for three years, and only in Metro Manila. Hatchback drivers will also be required to charge a lower fare.

Hosaka said they want the LTFRB to release guidelines for proposed lower fares for hatchbacks.

"Hatckbacks that are allowed to operate still follow the same fare matrix of the normal TNVS. We want na mapag-aralan ito, magkaroon ng TWG with the "LTFRB for the lower fares," she said.

The department further said only hatchback units that were among the 55,000 units in the master list and whose applications were filed from March 5 to December 15, 2018 are entitled to the benefit granted under the new circular.