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Entry of Indonesia’s Go-Jek on hold, says LTFRB

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AFP

THE Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) said Indonesian ride-hailing company Go-Jek filed an application to operate in the Philippines, but it was not entertained as the government issued a moratorium on accrediting transport network company (TNC) last month.

“The moratorium came out before they filed their application for accreditation,” said the office of LTFRB Chairman Martin B. Delgra III in a message to reporters on Wednesday.

The company filed its application on Aug. 13. In May, the LTFRB said it met with representatives of Go-Jek to discuss the possibility of its entry to the Philippines after Uber Philippines exited the scene.

LTFRB Board Member Aileen Lourdes A. Lizada said then the officials of Go-Jek had to review the regulatory policies in the Philippines, particularly its limits to surge pricing.

“Go-Jek can surge up to x5 in Indonesia, I told them, [in the Philippines it’s] up to x2 [only]. Then I asked them if [it’s only] x2, will you survive? They said they need to study,” Ms. Lizada said in May.

LTFRB Memorandum Circular (MC) 2018-016, which was signed by the board on Aug. 9, barred the government from accepting new applications for TNCs that intend to operate transport network vehicle service (TNVS) units.

It said the move was meant to “closely monitor the existing accredited TNCs for TNVS and those subject for renewal and/or evaluation.”

Ms. Lizada said in June the LTFRB was challenged with the regulation of TNCs. The plan to issue a moratorium was being deliberated at the time, but she had hinted about the move towards issuing the ban.

Kasi kailangan namin (We need to). There’s a new DO (department order). We have to come up with new MCs, and we have a lot of TNCs. Baka magkakalat na naman tayo dito, hindi mo pa alam (We might mess this up, you don’t know). And then we also need to protect our local companies as well,” she said then.

The DO she pertained to is DO No. 2018-013 of the Department of Transportation (DoTr), which mandated the LTFRB to regulate TNVS.

At present, the government has six TNCs with accreditation to operate: Hype Transport Systems, Inc.; GoLag, Inc.; iPara Technologies and Solutions, Inc. (Owto); E-Pick Me Up, Inc.; Hirna Mobility Solutions, Inc.; and Micab Systems Corp.

Of the six, only the first four field TNVS or private cars, while Hirna and Micab run a fleet of taxis.

Older TNCs Grab Philippines (MyTaxi.PH, Inc.) and U-Hop Transportation Network Vehicle System, Inc. have pending cases for renewal of accreditation with the LTFRB. No decision has been made on their extensions yet.

MC 2018-016 also identified other TNC applicants that have not been granted accreditation. Pending for resolution at the pre-accreditation committee level is Ryd Global, Inc., while pending for evaluation at the same committee level are Citimuber Corp.; Aztech Solutions International Corp.; Unified Transport Operations League (U.T.O.L.) SMESOFT, Inc.; and iHitchonline, Inc. — Denise A. Valdez