Mindanao Times » ltfrb http://mindanaotimes.net Sun, 23 Sep 2018 16:00:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.25 Rough Cuts | Something to thank Rep. Nograles for http://mindanaotimes.net/rough-cuts-something-to-thank-rep-nograles-for/ http://mindanaotimes.net/rough-cuts-something-to-thank-rep-nograles-for/#comments Sun, 15 Apr 2018 13:31:53 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=56759 Read more ›]]> The exposé by Rep. Jericho Nograles that the Transport Network Vehicle Sharing (TNVS) firm Grab is charging an additional P2 per minute markup on its fare has created some kind of a disturbed hornets’ nest in the network’s operation and the riding public as well.The same disclosure has also goaded the Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) into action digging deeper the methodologies of the TNVS firm in charging fares to passengers. The LTFRB is also looking into complaints that the soon-to-be monopoly TNVS is imposing a two percent of approved rate as “surge” fare when demand for Grab-affiliated vehicle services rises during peak hours of the day.

Nograles of the PBA partylist and who hails from Davao City is the brother of First District Rep. and chair of the powerful House Appropriations Committee Karlo Alexei Nograles, made his exposé during an interview with “The Source” public affairs program of CNN Philippines. Jericho based his claim on his personal experience. He told “The Source” he took a Grab vehicle and upon disembarking he demanded a breakdown of the charges made by the driver.
It was there, according to the PBA lawmaker, that he learned for the first time that aside from the authorized fare Grab is also collecting P2 per minute of travel. He told program host Pinky Webb that he confronted the driver that that particular item is not one of those included in the breakdown of the fare components approved by the LTFRB in their application.
Therefore, the younger PBA Partylist congressman opined that Grab needs to refund the unauthorized collection to the persons who had booked for a Grab ride. In Nograles’ personal estimate based on the number of trips taken by passengers on Grab-affiliated vehicles the illegal collection could amount to P1.8 billion over the last five months or so.
That amount of money is indeed earth-shaking and would suffice to fund important huge infrastructure projects for the country.
And yes, we agree that with such gargantuan amount there could be more significant infrastructure projects that perhaps all Grab vehicle patrons will be able to make use in later years.
However, there might be need for the PBA guy in Congress to also pry deeper into the mechanics of approving the fare rate structure of Grab-affiliated vehicles by the transport industry regulator.
According to lawyer Leo Gonzales, head of Corporate Communications of Grab Philippines during an interview with the nationally televised radio program Saksi sa Double B last Thursday morning, the P2 per minute additional travel fare is a component of the rate structure they submitted to the LTFRB for consideration. The GRAB communications officer claimed the fare rate structure as applied, was approved on the whole.
And as if the Grab executive was taunting the PBA lawmaker he told GMA’s national audience that Grab does not have such refundable amount as the additional P2 per minute fare collected does not go to the TNVS firm but to the drivers. So, how can they be made to refund the money that is not with the company?
Well, we agree that the Grab communications executive has a point on that particular argument. That is, if indeed nothing from the additional per hour add-on fare really accrues to the network.
And PBA’s Nograles will only have the chance to know the veracity of the GRAB man’s claim if he can convince Congress to have the issue investigated by the appropriate House Committee.
After all, it will not only be Grab who will be questioned on its claim but the transport regular LTFRB as well.
Should the LTFRB confirm during a House committee probe that it has approved the transport firm’s rate structure package without knowing its item by item components then the transport regulator can be liable of negligence in its responsibility.
But whatever comes out of the Nograles exposé, every Grab vehicle riding Filipino owes the partylist lawmaker from Davao City some kind of debt of gratitude. With the Nograles exposé the Grab attempt to monopolize the TNVS industry may not push through and possibly there will be stricter requirements before any application for fare rate hike by a TNVS company be given due consideration.

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Editorial | Monitoring is key http://mindanaotimes.net/monitoring-is-key/ http://mindanaotimes.net/monitoring-is-key/#comments Sat, 03 Feb 2018 12:31:47 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=53896 Read more ›]]> It was Mindanao Times columnist Vic Sumalinog who first posed last week the questions on the recent increase in taxicab fares.

In that column, Sumalinog questioned the motive of the agency behind the requirements it has imposed on the recalibration of meters, among them the need to have a registered transport network vehicle service mobile application, which in turn would need a smart mobile phone, and the need for the installation of dashboard cameras and a global positioning system.

His column immediately merited a reply from Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board regional director Teresita D. Yñiguez, who said that taxicab operators have the choice what mobile applications to use, as well as the need for a dashboard camera, a free wireless fidelity (Wi-Fi) and a global positioning system connectivity.

Yñiguez, a lawyer, based her reply on the circular issued by the agency late last year which spelled out the guidelines in the recalibration of taxicab meters.

Under the guidelines, the agency said: ”Prior to calibration and sealing/resealing, taxi units must be equipped with GNSS (Global Navigational Satellite System) receiver, free Wi-Fi, CCTV (closed circuit television) (camera) with continuous recording of past 72 hours of operation and dashboard camera and on-line digital platforms in compliance with the public utility vehicle modernization program.”

Of course, the motive of the agency is laudable as this will not only enhance the travel efficiency of the vehicle in bringing the passenger to the destination both in a shortest distance and time travelled, but also ensures that the passenger is safe not only from outsiders but from the driver.

However, will the agency punish those operators who are fooling it by transferring the gadgets to those units that need to be recalibrated and transferring them to other units after the process? If not, then the implementation is useless.

More than the gadgets, the agency should also make sure that the drivers, and their operators, abide by the law with the latter also ensuring that they make it easy for their drivers to survive the impact of increasing prices of basic commodities. Unless this is done, the increase in taxicab fares will not get justified.

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Rough Cuts | She’s a new breed of gov’t servant http://mindanaotimes.net/shes-a-new-breed-of-govt-servant/ http://mindanaotimes.net/shes-a-new-breed-of-govt-servant/#comments Tue, 30 Jan 2018 11:37:40 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=53648 ]]> We take our hat off to lawyer Teresita Yniguez, regional director of the Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) for showing she is among the very few who have met the standard of new breed of ideal government servants, one of few names that we have cited so far in this column.


This she showed with her being sensitive to issues raised by some people concerning the operation of government agencies like the one she heads at the regional level.
Yes, Director Yniguez was quick on the draw with her immediate reaction to an item in our column regarding the implementation of an LTFRB policy attendant to the implementation of the government program purportedly aimed at improving the nationwide taxi operations.
As we mentioned in our column on the issue last Jan. 26, 2018, an immediate clarification from the LTFRB would not only help educate us on the policy but the operators and drivers who will stand to be affected the most. We have to agree that this is a laudable move. After all, the end objective is to ensure the welfare of the riding public.
We do not know, however, if the LTFRB, or whoever is the proponent of this policy from within and without, is aware of the contingent opportunity for corruption and shenanigan by some shrewd agency officials and corporate executives.
According to Director Yniguez, under LTFRB’s Circular issued last November 27, one of the guidelines cited that “prior to calibration and sealing/resealing, taxi units must be equipped with GNSS receiver, free wi-fi, CCTV with coninuous recording for 72 hours, and dashboard camera and on-line digital platforms in compliance with the public utility vehicle modernization program.”
We have no doubt that all these do not come for free. And definitely the LTFRB and the Transport Network Vehicle Service (TNVS) engaged would not foot the bill; it is either the taxi operators and drivers, or both, depending on their arrangement. How much money will be needed as add-on investment? Well, the amount is dependent on the number of taxi cab units an operator has.
Let’s just have some general estimation based on clearly verifiable number of taxi cab units on record at the LTFRB and the Land Transportation Office (LTO).
For example, how much is the cost of one unit GNSS receiver, a CCTV unit, a dashboard camera and the online digital platforms? Add them up and multiply them with the number of taxi units all over the country. That would be the volume of business that these requirements help the suppliers generate. That is something for the imagination.
Now can we blame if people will entertain ideas that certain officials of the government agencies herein-mentioned may have found opportunities to make easy money in cahoots with some executives of corporations that are supplying the gadgets and its attendant installation services?
Really, everything that the taxi drivers have been aspiring for, specifically the increase in fare rates to improve their take-home income, is not likely to come if they do not have the money to pay for the requirements attendant to the grant of their petition.
And from what we gathered from some drivers there are operators who have offered to shoulder the cost. But the amount representing the cost of some of the gadgets will have to be in the account of the drivers subject to inclusion in his daily boundary.
With all the delays and hassles brought about by these added bureaucratic layers we still hope that the regional LTFRB office under the watch of the silent-working and upright director, will be able to reciprocate with a more facilitative service once the requirements are complied.
After all, that is what the Martin Delgra-led LTFRB intends to achieve under his term. And that is what Davaoeno President Rodrigo Duterte is expecting of that agency under his administration.

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She’s a new breed of government servant http://mindanaotimes.net/shes-a-new-breed-of-government-servant/ http://mindanaotimes.net/shes-a-new-breed-of-government-servant/#comments Tue, 30 Jan 2018 11:20:55 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=53673 ]]> We take our hat off lawyer Teresita Yniguez, regional director of the Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) for showing she is among the very few who met the standard of new breed of ideal government servants, one of few names that we have cited so far in this column.

This she showed with her sensitiveness on issues raised by some people concerning operation of government agencies like the one she heads at the regional level.

Yes, Director Yniguez was quick on the draw with her immediate reaction to an item in our column regarding the implementation of an LTFRB policy attendant to the implementation of the government program purportedly aimed at improving the nationwide taxi operation.

As we mentioned in our column on the issue last January 26, 2018, an immediate clarification from the LTFRB would not only help educate us on the policy but the operators and drivers who will stand to be affected the most. We have to agree that this is a laudable move. After all, the end objective is to ensure the welfare of the riding public.

We do not know however, if the LTFRB, or whoever is the proponent of this policy from within and without, is aware of the contingent opportunity for corruption and shenanigan by some shrewd agency officials and corporate executives.

According to Director Yniguez, under LTFRB’s Circular issued last November 27, one of the guidelines cited that “prior to calibration and sealing/resealing, taxi units must be equipped with GNSS receiver, free wi-fi, CCTV with coninuous recording for 72 hours, and dashboard camera and on-line digital platforms in compliance with the public utility vehicle modernization program.”

We have no doubt that all these do not come for free. And definitely the LTFRB and the Transport Network Vehicle Service (TNVS) engaged would not foot the bill; it is either  the taxi operators and drivers, or both, depending on their arrangement. How much money will be needed  as add-on investment?  Well, the amount is dependent on the number of taxi cab units an operator has.

Let’s just have some general estimation based on clearly verifiable number of taxi cab units on record at the LTFRB and the Land Transportation Office (LTO).

For example, how much is the cost of one unit GNSS receiver, a CCTV unit, a dashboard camera and the on-line digital platforms? Add them up and multiply them with the number of taxi units all over the country. That would be the volume of business that these requirements help the suppliers generate. That is something for the imagination.

Now can we blame if people will entertain ideas that certain officials of the government agencies herein-mentioned may have found opportunities to make easy money in cahoots with some executives of corporations that are supplying the gadgets and its attendant installation services?

Really, everything that the taxi drivers have been aspiring for, specifically the increase in fare rates to improve their take-home income, is not likely to come if they do not have the money to pay for the requirements attendant to the grant of their petition.

And from what we gathered from some drivers there are operators who have offered to shoulder the cost. But the amount representing the cost of some of the gadgets will have to be in the account of the drivers subject to inclusion in his daily boundary.

With all the delays and hassles  brought about by these added bureaucratic layers we still hope that the regional LTFRB office under the watch of the silent-working and upright lady director, will be able to reciprocate with a more facilitative service once the requirements are complied.

After all, that is what the Martin Delgra-led LTFRB intends to achieve under his term. And that is what Davaoeno President Rodrigo Duterte is expecting of that agency under his administration.

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LTFRB clarifies taxi fare hike requirements http://mindanaotimes.net/ltfrb-clarifies-taxi-fare-hike-requirements/ http://mindanaotimes.net/ltfrb-clarifies-taxi-fare-hike-requirements/#comments Sun, 28 Jan 2018 11:07:00 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=53520 ]]> The regional office of Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) clarified that the taxis have to have mobile applications and other gadgets to improve the units before their taxi meters could be recalibrated for fare adjustment.

In response to Mindanao Times’ Vic. N. Sumalinog’s column, lawyer Teresita D. Yñiguez, regional director of LTFRB XI, said in her letter on Jan. 26 that there are two taxi-hailing platforms such as Grab and HirNa that the taxicab operators can install in the mobile phones of their units.

Yñiguez’ reply was emailed to the TIMES the day after Sumalinog’s column “Can LTFRB clarify?” was published on Jan. 25.

She said the units should be installed with the mobile applications, including HirNa, which is a local application developed by Metro Davao Taxi Operators Association (MDTOA). The local mobile application will be installed to about 4,000 MDTOA units and would be launched next month.

The agency is currently recalibrating the taxi meters of the units, which started last week. There are about 5,600 units in the city.

Under the LTFRB’s Circular issued on Nov. 27, one of the guidelines cited that: “prior to calibration and sealing/resealing, taxi units must be equipped with GNSS receiver, free Wi-Fi, CCTV with continuous recording of past 72 hours of operation and dashboard camera and on-line digital platforms in compliance with the public utility vehicle modernization program.”

“Clearly, under the said circular, all taxi operators are required to, among others, install on-line digital platforms (taxi hailing apps) in all its taxi units. This is meant to improve the quality of taxi service nationwide,” Yñiguez said.

She said they already requited the submission of contracts between the taxicab operators and their taxi-hailing platform providers to ensure the compliance of the guidelines set in the agency’s circular.

Once the taxi meters are calibrated, the fare will increase to P13.50 per kilometer from P3.50 for the first 300 succeeding meters. The running time is now P2 per minute from having a waiting time of P3.50 for two minutes.

The flag down rate remained at P40.

Lawyer Rogelio G. Largo, president of MDTOA, said the taxi fare would now be time bound, which would depend on the running time. He said the rate increase was part of LTFRB’s order, which was approved in October last year.

Prior to the implementation of the fare increases, Largo said their members of the association, which comprised 140 taxi operators, are complying on the circular of LTFRB, including the installation of HirNa. “We are adhering on the order of the LTFRB,” he said. (KMF)

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