The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has recently been vilified in the eyes of the public following its decision to move against popular Transport Network Vehicle Services (TNVS) like Grab and Uber.
At the center of it all is LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra III, who’s been making controversial statements that seem out of touch with the commuting public’s gripes against the taxi industry.
Just this week, Delgra said in a Senate hearing that they are eyeing to approve higher taxi rates to allow them to compete with TNVS. While the intention is good, this might not be the best way to solve this problem. Here are some of Delgra’s recent statements that have raised eyebrows:
TNVS are not taxi alternatives
If Grab and Uber aren’t alternatives to taxis, then we’re not sure what other choices are still left. We’d love to say that taking the train is a great alternative to getting around the Metro, but we only have four major lines that regularly break down and are packed with people.
Let’s add more taxis
Metro Manila traffic has already become unbearable as the number of vehicles plying an already overcrowded EDSA continue to grow. It’s even come to the point where the country loses at least P2.4 billion per day to traffic. Meanwhile, the LTFRB suggests adding more taxi fleets to the mix to address a non-existent demand for their forgettable services.
Assert your rights
This should be the ideal approach, but it’s just not the practical thing to do in the Philippine setting that’s filled with rude and hostile drivers. In short, it’s not worth it unless you’re willing to literally fight for an awkward hour-long ride with a cabbie who’s clearly pissed at you.
Let’s make taxi rates at par with TNVS
By increasing taxi rates, the LTFRB believes it can help find a solution to the taxi industry’s dwindling number of drivers, which results in the underutilization of vehicles in various fleets. But the thing is, TNVS are already favored by the public mainly due to their professional services. This is despite the fact that their rates are usually higher than taxis. If this pushes through then we wouldn’t be surprised if less people rode taxis.