TNVS Supply Crisis: Grab Needs LTFRB to Help

Ciara Alarcon
Let’s admit it, the Philippines has a tiring traffic situation that we all want to escape. So, when the TNVS industry penetrated the country’s transport system, many commuters were able to find their saving grace. However, now that it’s facing a supply crisis in Metro Manila, the riding public is frustrated because it seems like they’re back to the dark ages.

TNVS Supply Crisis: How Did We Get Here?
TNVS Supply Crisis: Grab Needs LTFRB to Help

Recently, we’ve already reported about the supply crisis that the TNVS community currently has. But this problem couldn’t wait any longer as the government must now get involved. First, the riding public who depends on TNVS are at a standstill, stranded waiting because they couldn’t book a ride. The time wasted waiting for a ride should have been spent wisely with their families, loved ones, and on their interests.

Second, despite having low fares due to regulatory restrictions, active drivers still have to work for longer hours. In fact, drivers have lost so much time and money on far pick-up proximity. Also, drivers who are not in the current LTFRB masterlist are still waiting in vain, without any assurance that they will be approved soon. To be exact, there are 10,000 additional cars that are waiting for LTFRB’s permission to be active on TNVS.

Hence, the supply of TNVS cars in Metro Manila has been compromised due to these regulatory restrictions. And while it’s easy to throw the stress and put the blame on TNVS – particularly on Grab – let’s look back and see how we end up here.

See Also: Grab Explains Why It Takes so Long to Book a Ride

“The Philippine market, despite being the first country to legalize ride-sharing in Asia last 2015, is facing a big set-back because of the supply crisis. We are only able to allocate 4 out of 10 bookings, which is the lowest rate in Southeast Asis. The LTFRB has not done its part to solve the supply crisis. They should immediately prioritize adding more drivers to support the demand,” Brian Cu, Grab Philippines, addressed.

It all began last January 2018 when the LTFRB ordered a 45,000 common supply base of TNVS cars – less than a third of the 125K vehicles currently in operation at that time. However, in February, the cap was raised to 65,000 common base. LTFRB then released 55k accredited vehicles that are part of its official master list.

In March, Uber pulled out their operation in the Philippines, and during the transition, it was discovered that around 6,000 Uber drivers are not included in the master list made by the LTRFB. They are not also allowed to transfer to Grab or in any TNCs. In addition, another 2,000 vehicles chose to not join Grab. With that, the daily active base has gone down to roughly 35,000 drivers.

Related: Grab Has Only 35,000 Cars to Serve 600,000 Daily Bookings

Moreover, when LTFRB suspended the Php2 per minute charge, many drivers were pushed to give up their TNVS career as it could no longer support their welfare. With that being said, the numbers of online drivers have dropped by 6% from April to July.

Grab Demand and Supply Situation
Grab Demand and Supply Situation

The bitter truth? There are now only 35,000 drivers to serve almost 600,00 bookings per day. The bookings also tap 850,000 during rainy days. Many rides were also compromised, as a result, average pick-up time has increased this July to 8 minutes, and obviously, it’s much worse during rush hours.

With all these things on our mind, maybe it's about time to challenge LTFRB. This isn't a plain rant, let's face this, Grab and other TNCs need LTFRB to make its move and participate to improve our transport system. After all, it's the riding public who suffers the most.

What do you think, guys? Share your thoughts with us!

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