ARTA urges LTFRB to relax bank conformity requirement

MANILA The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) on Tuesday asked the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to relax its rule on requiring bank conformity for securing a Certificate of Public Convenience (CPC) for transport network vehicle services (TNVS) operators.

Ernesto Perez, ARTA officer-in-charge, director general, said the issue of "red-tape" in securing CPCs would not be solved until the question on bank conformity is resolved. This was tackled during a dialogue with the LTFRB, Department of Transportation (DOTr), and TNVS groups at the LTFRB central office in Quezon City.

But we all know that the LTFRB has no regulatory power over the bank. And we all know, as a practicing lawyer for many years, we all know that (a bank's) main concern is to protect its investment, protect its interest, Perez said.

Perez said banks impose requirements that are hard to comply with for small TNVS operators.

Maybe for the big operators, PHP10,000 or PHP50,000 maybe peanuts. But for the ordinary driver, this really matters much, Perez said.

He said TNVS franchising is a regulatory innovation and the LTFRB should be more understanding to TNVS operators since there is no clear governing legal framework.

Naiintindihan ko po 'yung sitwasyon (I understand the situation), if we cannot appeal and we do not expect the bank to grant our request, then we turn our appeal to the LTFRB to relax its rule on bank conformity, Perez said.

LTFRB chairman Martin Delgra III noted that Perez raised a good point, adding it is fundamental to set certain standards, and part of that standard are the requirements.

He said bank conformity is a requirement between three parties, the LTFRB, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and the banks and so it must be discussed with other parties before a decision can be made.

The issue that was raised is valid, and that is precisely why kailangan pag-usapan (it needs to discussed). Rest assured that we will address this, we will have to take it up with the bank and with LTO as well, Delgra said.

The LTFRB chief said the discussion and a decision on requiring bank conformity would happen within the week.

Leniency to 'colorum' TNVS operators

Lawyer Ariel Inton, TNVS legal counsel and president of Lawyers for Commuters Safety and Protection, asked the LTFRB to be more lenient to colorum (unregistered) TNVS operators due to issues with the processing of TNVS provisional authorities (PAs) and CPCs.

Perez reiterated Delgra's point that giving an exception to colorum TNVS operators may force the board to apply the rule to all transport services for the sake of fairness.

However, he said that since TNVS franchising is a regulatory innovation, TNVS drivers and operators should be distinguished from an ordinary colorum operator.

Delgra said the matter would also be discussed with the board along with other concerns of the TNVS community during the dialogue. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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