Senator Win Gatchalian is seeking to institutionalize transport network vehicle services (TNVS) in a bid to strengthen passenger protection and further drive advancement in the transportation industry.
Gatchalian said that standardizing transport network services will spur the development of transport services and ensure the safety of both the riding public and the driver, which is the intention of Senate Bill No. 817 that he filed, adding that the development of the transport network services industry could also reduce the volume of vehicles on the road and thus help ease traffic congestion especially in metropolitan areas. The proposed measure allows TNVS to offer ridesharing services to help decongest roads.
He cited a study by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) which states that the country is projected to lose P5.4 billion to daily traffic by 2035 if no interventions are made to improve the situation. The agency had previously estimated that the country loses P3.5 billion daily due to traffic congestion.
The senator noted that the emergence of TNVS such as Grab, Joyride, and OWTO, among others, provides commuters with more choices and has already compelled taxi operators to improve their service in terms of convenience, safety, and efficiency.
While the Department of Transportation (DOTr) has relegated to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) the full authority to regulate and supervise transport network companies (TNC) and TNVS, there is a need to institutionalize rules and regulations that would govern the industry, Gatchalian emphasized.
“Importante para sa pag-unlad ng bansa na mapalago natin ang mga makabagong transport systems. Kailangan nating maglagay ng mga mekanismo na magpapaunlad sa industriya kasama ang mga transport network services at magbibigay proteksyon sa mga pasahero,” he emphasized.
Specifically, the proposed measure seeks to define the nature of TNCs and TNVS and clarify their role as a common carrier. As proposed by Gatchalian, TNCs and TNVS are obligated under a contract of carriage once a passenger avails of their service. Thus, a TNC cannot evade liability by contending that they are merely a technological platform to connect the passenger with the driver.