MANILA Senator Grace Poe, chair of the Senate committee on public services on Monday vowed to tackle bills that seek to regulate the operations of transportation network vehicle services (TNVS) in the country in the upcoming 18th Congress.
Poe made the statement after the TNVS drivers held a nationwide "transport holiday", wherein they went offline from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday to protest government policies affecting their operations.
We will continue to work hard in the Senate to tackle bills that would put in place a law governing TNVS operations, Poe told reporters in a text message.
Poe said this includes the re-filing of a bill, which proposes that only Transport Network Companies such as Grab will be directly regulated by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).
She emphasized the need to strike a balance on the need to regulate and to serve the riding public.
Poe particularly noted that the LTFRB should make its policies more consistent and processes much easier for the TNVS sector.
While we respect the LTFRB's mandate to regulate the industry and ensure the safety of the riding public, we also have to recognize that call to make the process easier according to the Ease of Doing Business Act is only for the good of everyone, Poe said.
"Matagal na nating kinilala ang kakayanan ng industriyang ito na tugunan ang kakulangan ng maayos na transportasyon sa kalakhang Maynila. Bakit natin kailangang pahirapan ang lahat? (We have already recognized the capacity of this industry to make up for the lack of an efficient transport system in Metro Manila. Why then are we making things difficult for everyone?), she added.
Poe also questioned the LTFRB for not implementing its Memorandum Circular 2018-005, which allows existing hatchbacks in the system to continue for three more years in order to recoup their investment.
These are issues which have been raised in previous hearings of the Senate committee on public services. What we should look into is not just the necessity of the requirements issued, but the scope of what the LTFRB can regulate and the consistency of its regulations, Poe said.
Hindi pwedeng paiba-iba ang ipinatutupad na regulasyon. Hindi ito patas sa mga mananakay at sa mga namumuhunan (We should not be unpredictable in the implementation of regulations. It is not fair to commuters and to investors), Poe added.
Poe said the transport holiday is an opportunity for the parties to come to the table, especially with the scheduled dialogue between the LTFRB and the TNVS drivers on Tuesday to address concerns relating to the process of accreditation and the necessity of such regulations and requirements.
We support the dialogue tomorrow and hope that both the LTFRB and TNVS drivers can come to terms for the good of the riding public. While the parties are on the table, we hope that the LTFRB can consider lifting the deactivation on those who failed to comply with the requirements, Poe said.
The 18th Congress will start on July 22. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency