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LTFRB: Only accredited hatchbacks allowed as TNVS

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An official of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board on Tuesday clarified that hatchbacks were not barred from becoming transport network vehicle service units but only a limited number of these were accredited within a given period.

During a dialogue among representatives of the LTFRB, Department of Transportation, Anti-Red Tape Authority, and TNVS groups, LTFRB technical division chief Joel Bolano said all policies set by the board for hatchbacks were based on existing DOTr orders and LTFRB memorandum circulars.

Bolano said Memorandum Circular 2018-005, which allowed hatchbacks as TNVS units until February 2021, only applied to accredited hatchback units.

These accredited hatchback units are part of the 55,000 TNVS units in the master list made by transport network companies like Grab in cooperation with the LTFRB.

Of the 55,000 units in the master list, 24,805 filed their applications, and out of these applications, 2,235 were hatchbacks.

Bolano said hatchbacks which applied for TNVS accreditation from March 5 to December 15, 2018 were also entitled to the benefits granted by the MC 2018-005.

“It’s not true we’re not processing them. It’s not true we’re not implementing MC 2018-005. The proofs are those 2,235 hatchbacks who applied for accreditation,” he said.

Bolano said the accredited hatchbacks were actually in violation of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) orders 2015-11 and 2017-011 that only allowed sedans, Asian Utility Vehicles (AUV), Sports Utility Vehicles (SUV), vans, or other similar vehicles for TNVS.

The mistake occurred due to a misunderstanding where TNCs misinterpreted the vehicle types allowed and wrongly accredited hatchback units. This paved the way for the LTFRB to act as the sole accreditor of TNVS operators instead of TNCs.

MC 2018-005 was later released to help transition those already accredited until hatchbacks were phased out in 2021 from serving as TNVS, Bolano said.

“This means if there are no problems with the 2,235 which applied in the master list, they can operate until 2021,” Bolano said.

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