LTFRB wants to fast-track entry of TNCs

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 9) — A transport regulation official clarified on Monday four ride-hailing operators are in the process of applying to operate in the Philippines.

Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Chairman Martin Delgra said the four Transport Network Companies (TNCs) — namely "Owto," "Hype," "Hirna," and "GoLag" — are still complying with the application for accreditation.

He said he has asked the agency's accreditation department to fast-track the authorization of the TNCs so they can already start operating in key cities, following Grab's acquisition of Uber.

"As of Thursday, kinukulit ko ang accreditation committee natin to be more proactive... I have given instructions to the committee to talk to the TNC to talk to them ano pa ang kulang," he told CNN Philippines.

[Translation: On Thursday, I repeatedly told the accreditation committee to be more proactive... I told them to talk to the TNC to ask them what requirements are still missing.]

Delgra said he does not understand the delay because the completion of certificates of accreditation is a simple process.

"Accreditation process is fairly straight forward. It's just a matter of submission of documentary requirements," he said.

This clarification from Delgra comes after the statement of Transportation Assistant Secretary for Commuter Affairs Elvira Medina saying the TNCs have been given the go-signal.

Some commuters have expressed apprehension over the supposed monopoly when Grab took over Uber's local operations. They fear fare surges under a monopoly, but Medina said this "will not happen."

The Uber app is still working as of Monday, April 9, but Uber now has fewer drivers as most have transferred to Grab. Uber Philippines' operation is only skeletal, Delgra said.

PCC opened a review of the deal on April 3 over concerns of a possible lack of competition.