THE Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) said on Thursday that it was considering setting minimum working hours for transport network companies (TNCs).
“If ever we will grant franchises, there should be minimum hours you have to be online. If we will give you a franchise but you will only operate two hours a week, it is a waste. Let’s just give that franchise to someone else,” LTFRB spokesman Aileen Lizada said in a press briefing at the transport agency’s main office.
Lizada said that imposing minimum hours would also prevent drivers from taking passengers only when there was a surge in booking prices.
Uber Head of Communications Catherine Avelino told The Manila Times in a text message that imposing minimum hours contradicted the main purpose of TNCs, which was the “business model of ride sharing”.
Ridesharing, as defined by the Association for Commuter Transportation, means “people pooling from a common origin, such as residence or park-and-ride lot, to a common destination, such as an employer or business park.”
The association also clarifies that a “pool driver is simply a volunteer commuter whose goal is getting to the same destination and home again, not to profit as a commercial driver.”
However, Lizada said that TNCs were providers of public services, thus, should render a minimum number of working hours.
Currently, Grab and Uber consider drivers as part-time if they operate below 40 hours per week.
On Wednesday, the LTFRB had a technical working group along with Grab and Uber.
The LTFRB ordered the deactivation of drivers who registered with Grab and Uber after June 30, 2017.