The Department of Transportation (DOTr), directed the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to implement the order of the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) to automatically approve all valid transport network vehicles services (TNVS) applications.
“In a meeting yesterday with ARTA Director-General Jeremiah Belgica, DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade instructed Undersecretary for Road Transport Mark De Leon to ensure LTFRB’s immediate implementation of ARTA’s order, provided that substantive completion of documents/requirements are met by applicants,” DOTr Assistant Secretary for Communications Goddes Hope Libiran said in a message sent to reporters.
The ARTA on Tuesday (Aug. 13) released an order declaring all pending but complete, duly-paid and duly-heard TNVS applications as automatically approved, and ordered the LTFRB to release the Certificates of Public Convenience (CPC) or other appropriate licenses or certifications for these applicants.
“The Authority hereby declares the completeness of all pending TNVS applications before the LTFRB with complete documentary requirements, duly paid, and have been duly heard from 07 July 2018, or 20 days after the effectivity of RA 11032, until 24 July 2019, or 20 days immediately prior to the issuance of this Order,” the order read.
ARTA released a summary of their findings and recommendations following complaints from the TNVS community of red tape in the processing of TNVS applications.
In the summary, ARTA said they found “unreasonable and undue” delay in the processing of TNVS applications.
“Contrary to LTFRB’s 2017 Revised Citizen’s Charter, it failed to process TNVS applications within the processing time of 45 days for the conduct and hearing and evaluation of such application,” the summary read.
To address the delays, ARTA recommended the “automatic approval of all pending TNVS applications that have submitted all documentary requirements, paid the appropriate fees, and have been duly heard, but are still awaiting the issuance of PAs (Provisional Authorities).”
The validity of the PAs are to be extended from the current 90 days to one year, “or better yet, shall have no expiration at all,” recommended ARTA.
It was noted that a PA may be revoked in cases of serious traffic violations, including ethical and legal considerations.
The anti-red tape body also recommended reinstating the old process of having Grab organize TNVS applications instead of individual applicants so that they would only need to appear during their hearing at the LTFRB.
In the second part of the summary, ARTA found the LTFRB to be imposing requirements that were not stated in its Citizen’s Charter.
“The Authority further found that the LTFRB suddenly imposed changes in the documentary requirements without properly revising its Citizen’s Charter. This created confusion among TNVS applicants,” the summary read.
ARTA also recommended the removal of Bank Certificate of Conformity as a requirement, devising of an appropriate regulatory framework for TNVS, conduct of a regulatory impact assessment to improve regulatory frameworks, revision of some other requirements, and to provide basis that would justify the cap of 65,000 TNVS units in Metro Manila.
ARTA also said they found fixers to be prevalent in the premises of the LTFRB, and also recommended action against officials or employees of the LTFRB found violating RA 11032 or the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007.
On July 7, 2019, the ARTA began a dialogue with TNVS groups following “problematic” pronouncements from the LTFRB, which included the prohibition on hatchbacks as TNVS.
Three days later, the LTFRB, DOTr, and ARTA held a dialogue, where TNVS groups raised their concerns to the government bodies. Tugade eventually signed an order amending past DOTr provisions to permanently allow hatchbacks as TNVS. (PNA)