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PH Goverment Planning To Launch Uber Competitor, Premium Taxi

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Is this why the LTFRB has been overly critical of Uber and other ride-sharing apps?

A few days ago the LTFRB has been clamping down hard on ride-sharing apps like Uber, who they claim have been operating without the proper franchise. Well, it seems there was a reason for the crackdown, at least according to motoring journalist James Deakin, who posted a notice for a public consultation by the LTFRB for the issuance of a new franchise for premium taxi.

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The notice describes the new taxis for the service should be a four or five-door sedan, has a displacement of 2000cc or higher, must be brand new at the time of issuance, have a uniform color (black), will have GPS tracking capability and be equipped with an on-board electric taxi fare payment device that’s capable of processing payments made with credit or debit card. Here’s the kicker: the operator needs to have a facility for booking and dispatching by way of online or smartphone based application.

If that sounds familiar, that’s because it is – that’s almost exactly the requirements for Uber’s vehicles. Of course, there are differences – Uber doesn’t discriminate on the displacement of vehicles, and don’t require potential franchise owners to own 20 (yes, 20!) vehicles to be able to apply. The whole point of ride-sharing apps like Uber and GrabCar is to put vehicle surplus to good use so roads will be de-clogged – apparently that’s something that the LTFRB missed with these apps.

Now the LTFRB says that they’re clamping down on Uber and other ride-sharing apps for the safety of the riding public. Are they really? Because seeing things like this that pop up, it’s difficult to take them seriously. Both Uber and GrabCar are solid alternatives that people are taking because they’re simply tired of dealing with regular taxis. The public is fed up with all the crap that they have to go to get a ride in a taxi. They’re tired of asking, in the rain, a taxi driver to take them aboard their vehicle like they’re asking for a favor. They’re tired of taxi drivers who turn off the meter to negotiate a rate to go to a certain place. They’re tired of the “masyadong malayo boss, dagdagan nyo naman” lines that passengers have to endure whenever they tell them their destination. They’re tired of the dirty, smelly, ratty taxis that they have to ride in after they’ve managed to successfully convince the taxi driver to take them on.

Say it ain’t so, LTFRB.

John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.

12 Comments

    1. Yep! Pero nakakatawa lang na yung UBER na pilit nilang tinataboy dati ay gusto na nilang kompentisyahin and its because of good service. Nice moved na din to, mas ikakapanatag ng loob ng mga pasahero

  1. It’s not as sinister as it looks, and people should keep an open mind about the issue. The ‘Premium Taxi’ is a totally different category, created at the same time the new transport category called TVNS was. To be clear, Uber and GrabCar are under the TVNS category, the most basic difference from the ‘Premium Taxi’ being that the TVNS cannot take street hails. Under the memorandum back in May that created both the TVNS and the ‘Premium Taxi’, LTFRB required that the TNCs (what the companies are called under the TVNS category) comply with some regulatory requirements. At this point in time, a good three months after, only GrabCar has applied for accreditation.

    To make a long story short, Uber can still operate the way it does, as long as it meets the LTFRB requirements for accreditation (http://ubermanilatips.com/ltfrb-accreditation-requirements-for-tvns-and-cpc-franchise/) as a TVNS. TVNS does not have the 2.0 liter requirement, or the 20 unit minimum, etc. At the same time, existing taxi companies who complain about ‘unfair competition’ from Uber or GrabCar can apply for the ‘Premium Taxi’ franchise, which would mean, these taxis we all complain about as being old, “bubulok-bulok”, unreliable, etc. have a chance to improve their service. They have to have newer cars, GPS tracking, online/app hailing capability and credit/debit card payment options. This way, Uber and GrabCar get to exist, traditional taxis get the chance to improve, and the Filipino people get the chance to choose which is better. Isn’t that a positive thing?

    I am an Uber fan, and love using the ride-sharing app. But as far as this issue is concerned, I would say I’m leaning more towards the side of LTFRB.

    1. yeah.. mas importanteng matter kasi ang comic sans sa pagunlad ng bansa eh.. okayy.. sige tungkol dun ka magcomment. PRIORITIES nga naman.

      wow.. so 20 sa fleet ng premium taxi? so kapag may sampung congressman/mayor ang magavail neto, edi 200 na sasakyan agad madadagdag sa EDSA. kaya naman ayaw ng mga taxi operator dyan kasi mga pulitiko din may ari ng mga taxi. kaya harang sila ng harang. mababawasan kita nila. sus.

      1. Writers shouldn’t use that font for an article like this unless they don’t want to be taken seriously.

        1. Agreed, you don’t need to take a typography class to realize that while it looks fun and friendly, it also looks horribly childish and out of place for most professional writing. The people that don’t understand why spamming Comic Sans all over the place with zero discretion just make the problem worse.

  2. Instead of of this why don’t they put on premium buses to accommodate more people who commute with better service and follow the rules of the road. Even they put the fare bit higher for the proper service.

  3. “They’re tired of the dirty, smelly, ratty taxis that they have to ride in after they’ve managed to successfully convince the taxi driver to take them on.”

    This last comment was too rude for my taste. Most taxis aren’t like this at all.

    1. … what country are you from? Seriously, because “dirty, smelly, ratty” describes like 9.5 out of 10 taxi cabs in the Philippines.

  4. It’s like this all over the world. Companies like Uber are challening the old ways and systems, creating new markets and opportunities while helping solve the major problems of outdated business models. And the old guard trying to keep things the way they are, stifling progress and the advancement of society to something that would have been better ultimately for everyone. It’s even more pathetic for this situation since business models like Uber can coexist with the old taxi system, and it’s better for the ecosystem overall because hola efficiency (and a side income source for many), ultimately empowering more people.

    But hey no, let’s not evolve or do things better at all because the old guys are getting upset hurrrrggghh. Dinosaurs everywhere.

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