Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros on Friday criticized the impound report of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on public utility vehicles, calling it "selective and lazy."
The data was released by LTFRB through Twitter as a response to the Senator's query on "selective crackdown" on Transport Network Vehicle Service (TNVS) providers but not on abusive taxi drivers and colorum units.
Earlier this week, LTFRB suspended the accreditation and operations of TNVS provider Uber System, Inc. (Uber) for a month, citing several violations.
"It's not a crackdown if you compare 618 impoundings in a year when transport groups' estimate of colorum vehicles is at one million in the entire country," Hontiveros said.
"LTFRB's data prove exactly my point: they are carrying out a selective crackdown to the detriment of the riding public," she added.
Hontiveros said that the suspension on TNVS providers will not be questioned by the public if LTFRB are as keen on penalizing abusive taxi drivers and colorum vehicles.
The Senator also said that regulation of public utility vehicles is also for the benefit of legitimate fleets of public transportation. "Proper and fair regulation contributes to safety and easing traffic," she added.
The Senator pointed out that the data was far too small to be of any use. "Thirty-eight taxis were impounded or issued summons from June 2016 to July 31 2017. That translates to 2.71 impounds per month (14 months)," she furthered.
"It's a sad set of data. LTFRB should not be surprised if the public is outraged," she said.
The Senator also expressed concern over reports of colorum syndicates being linked to some LTFRB officials. "LTFRB must explain why it has performed poorly in responding to this problem. Uber has to pay the price for its violation. But so do others," Hontiveros added.
"If the alternative to TNVS are properly regulated, then maybe we can provide better service to commuters," the Senator from Akbayan said. "If equal application of the law is the justification, then it must be done equally." Hontiveros concluded.
Source: Senate of the Philippines