LTFRB seeks to have more taxis on Metro Manila roads

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 22) — After suspending Uber for a month, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) says it is looking at increasing the number of taxis plying Metro Manila roads.

LTFRB Chief Martin Delgra said doing so may help meet the big demand for them and at the same time, force abusive taxi drivers to shape up.

Delgra addressed the issue at a briefing in Malacañang Tuesday, saying transport regulators would be meeting with taxi operators on Wednesday, Aug. 23, where the issue of granting more taxi franchises will be discussed.

Delgra said, "We would like to get the help of transport planners and the expert of UP on how to calibrate giving or opening up more franchises again to address supply of taxi... I mean, to put in more supply to in order to address demand."

Delgra also said taxi drivers who refuse passengers haven't slipped their notice.

He said Oplan Isnabero, launched in December 2016, is in effect "all throughout, every day of the year."

"As with the statistics, and as to how we have resolved these cases po, I don't have it right now. But I can assure you, we're also hitting taxi - pasaway na mga taxi drivers po [taxis who keep committing violations]," Delgra said.

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For now, Delgra is advising commuters who encounter such drivers to "assert their right" by among others, insisting on charging through meters.

The LTFRB will also hear tomorrow Uber's motion to lift its suspension in exchange for a fine of ₱10 million.

"We're still looking at all angles insofar as having to understand the gravity of the offense that they have committed," Delgra said when asked whether the LTFRB is standing pat on its suspension order.

He added, "Alam ko masasaktan to a certain degree yung mananakay [I know that passengers will be affected to a certain degree], but when you have a TNC that is openly defying and continuously defying the rules that they have in fact put in place under the business model that they have owned, I don't think we can work healthily with this type of investor."

CNN Philippines' Pia Garcia contributed to this story.