'Stop and review': Transport groups oppose additional 100,000 TNVS slots

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 14) — Opening an additional 100,000 transport network vehicle service (TNVS) slots will have an adverse effect on existing TNVS operators and drivers, transport groups warned on Tuesday.

"This will cause massive impact to the livelihood and reduced income of existing TNVS operators and drivers as well as other means of transportation especially taxis, motorcycle taxis, jeepney, UV's, tricycles among others." Jun De Leon, LABAN TNVS President, said in a press conference.

With existing TNVS units as well as other public transportation experiencing low income and poor bookings, opening additional slots will worsen the situation, De Leon stressed.

READ: Manila's public transit fifth worst globally study

Earlier this month, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) said it will allow 100,000 vehicles registered under Grab to get franchises in a bid to meet public demand for TNVS.

This was after the ride-hailing company said it made an "investment pledge" to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Feb. 2 that could result in the creation of 500,000 jobs.

LTFRB Chairman Teofilo Guadiz said the agency might increase the number of slots until such time that the number of TNVS matches the needs of commuters.

READ: LTFRB to give franchises to 100,000 Grab vehicles

But for transport groups, more study is needed to prove there is a strong and pressing need for additional 100,000 TNVS units.

"We hope that public transportation as a social service must not be treated as a business venture and opportunity by some groups and institutions," he said. "The government must at all times ensure the best interests and welfare of both transport operators and drivers and our riding public."

Currently, the LTFRB said the proposed 100,000 TNVS slots is still ongoing deliberation of the board in coordination with the Department of Transportation.

“LTFRB has no policy guidelines yet on the issue. In case a policy will be issued it will be open to all Transport Network Company (TNC) not only to specific TNC, and all factors will be considered,” LTFRB said in a statement.

Grab Philippines Senior Director for Operations Ronald Roda earlier said the number of slots won't matter if the government won't ease the registration process.

Some of the requirements under the arduous process that operators need to secure include a certificate of conformity from the mortgage bank or financial institution if the unit is encumbered; proof of financial capability; and proof of publication.

READ: Thousands of available TNVS slots futile if gov't fails to ease processes Grab