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Advocacy group questions franchise allocation for TNVS, MC taxi

Digital Pinoys

A network of digital advocates said that the allocation of 100,000 TNVS slots to only one transport network company is an abuse of dominance and leads to monopoly.

Digital Pinoys national campaigner Ronald Gustilo said that Grab is pushing for market dominance after the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board said that they will be giving 100,000 new franchises to Grab after the TNVS monopoly investment pledge to President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos.

“The pledge and the franchise allotment reeks of abuse of dominance. The government should ensure that fair competition will be upheld, even in the allocation of franchises.”

Gustilo questioned as to why the LTRFB is giving Grab the whole 100,000 new franchises even though the regulatory body’s decision on Grab’s overpricing complaint is still pending.

“Why is LTFRB giving Grab special treatment when it is taking them too long to decide on complaints against the overpricing and surge pricing abuse? LTFRB should first decide on the pending complaints before handing out new franchises. It seems that they are tolerating this kind of practice.”

Gustilo also questioned LTFRB’s mandate on the allocation of franchises to Grab for motorcycle taxi companies.

“LTFRB has no sole jurisdiction in the issuance permit to operate for the motorcycle taxi. Moreso, Grab is not a participant of the motorcycle taxi pilot program. Only the technical working group, which LTFRB is only a part of, can decide on this matter. Furthermore, allowing entry for another entity while the program is ongoing will only prolong the study being conducted by Congress and other agencies.”

Gustilo added that the government should also assist other transport network companies that can fill the gap in demand.

“The government should give equal support to all TNCs. This will encourage competition, which will be good for the economy and the passengers. Strong competition will help level the playing field and will lead to better services and affordable fare prices for passengers. LTFRB should not lean into one TNC only”.

Reference: Ronald Gustilo, Digital Pinoys National Campaigner, www.digitalpinoys.org