To ensure that fares are just and reasonable, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) recently released a new order which gives the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) the authority to regulate and determine the fares, rates and other charges imposed by Transport Network Companies (TNC).
The Department Order (DO) will amend and supersede the previous DO (DO No. 2015-011) issued back in 2015. The previous DO stated that TNCs could set their own rates and fares subject only to oversight by the LTFRB.
“Hindi naman yata tama ‘yun. You can’t engage in the business of public transportation and determine your own fares, your own rules. Naiintindihan natin na mayroon silang negosyong pino-protektahan, ngunit responsibilidad din ng estado na protektahan ang kapakanan ng mga commuters,” said DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade.
Under the new DO, the TNCs and the Transport Network Vehicle Service (TNVS) units that operate under them will now have a centralized regulation. For the time being however, the LTFRB has yet to make any adjustments to fares and rates. They will be having public hearings and consultations with both the TNCs and the riding public before the adjustments are determined.
“Ayaw na nating maulit ‘yung nangyari noong mga nakaraang taon kung saan sila [TNCs] lamang ang nagdidikta sa presyo ng kanilang pasaheng sinisingil. Ayaw na rin natin maulit yung sobra-sobrang surge sa pricing lalo na kapag peak hours. Kawawa naman commuters natin na walang laban,” said LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra III.
While the new DO does recognize the importance and established roles of TNCs and TNVs, the DOTr empahisized that regulations are needed to ensure the interest of all parties, most especially the riding public, are protected.