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, which 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,” Tugade ordered. “Kung kailangang baguhin ang ilang dokumento, baguhin. Kung kailangang i-improve, dapat i-improve.“
Under MC 2018-005, all accredited hatchback units shall be allowed to operate as public transport provided that they only operate during the transition period of three years, only in Metro Manila, and charge a lower fare.
However, only hatchback units that were among the 55,000 units in the masterlist and whose applications were filed from March 5 to December 15, 2018 are entitled to the benefit granted by MC 2018-005.
According to DOTr Undersecretary for Road Transport and Infrastructure Mark Richmund de Leon, the LTFRB will need to amend the MC to allow the permanent classification of hatchbacks as transport network vehicle service (TNVS) units, and to re-enlist TNVS units that were previously removed from the masterlist.
“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,” de Leon pointed out.
He further cited that the inclusion of hatchbacks in the TNVS fleet will greatly benefit the commuting public.
“We are giving the commuters their transport options. Kung gusto niya na mas mura ang biyahe niya, mag-hatchback siya,” the undersecretary said.
De Leon likewise clarified that TNVS units that were previously delisted should be given priority for re-enlistment in the masterlist.
“Dapat bigyan ng priority iyong mga natanggal sa listahan dahil ‘yan ay ‘yung mga nakapag-invest na sa serbisyo. Mag-open tayo ng additional slots pero ‘wag natin pabayaan ‘yung mga natanggal sa listahan dati,” he said.
“Lahat ito, binabalanse at inaayos natin para sa kapakanan ng mga commuter. Secretary Tugade wants to make sure that transactions with government agencies will be easier, faster, and more efficient. That is why we are continuously coordinating with TNCs and other stakeholders to help us improve the system,” de Leon added.
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