Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade has instructed the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to implement LTFRB Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 2018-005. The MC allows hatchback units to operate as public transport, on certain conditions.

Secretary Tugade gave the instruction upon hearing explanations from relevant transport officials and stakeholders concerning the matter. “Implement the existing MC until such time that the same is modified and/or amended,” said Tugade.

Previously, hatchbacks weren't allowed to be used as public transport vehicles. Now, under MC 2018-005, all accredited hatchback units can be used, provided that they only operate during the transition period of three (3) years, only in Metro Manila, and charge a lower fare than sedans. DOTr Undersecretary for Road Transport and Infrastructure Mark Richmund de Leon, said that the inclusion of hatchbacks in the TNVS fleet will give the commuting public more options, as well as a more affordable way to move about the Metro.

According to DOTr Undersecretary for Road Transport and Infrastructure Mark Richmund de Leon, the LTFRB will need to amend their MC to allow the permanent classification of hatchbacks as TNVS units. De Leon also said that they will allow de-listed TNVS units to re-enlist if their vehicle was removed from the master list.

“In bigger metropolitan areas like London and Tokyo, hatchbacks are allowed to operate as public transport. If first world countries and cities allow it, why can’t we? These vehicles are more fuel-efficient and, thus, are good for the environment,” said de Leon.

However, only hatchback units that were among the 55,000 units in the master list and whose applications were filed from March 5 to December 15, 2018 are entitled to the benefit granted by MC 2018-005. He did note that TNVS units that were put out of commission should be given priority to be reinstated.