the LTFRB Doesn’t Understand
How the Government Works
By Kel Fabie
It’s come to our attention that the LTFRB, a government arm whose function is to “formulate, promulgate, administer, enforce, and monitor compliance of policies, laws, and regulations of public land transportation services,” has been throwing its weight around lately in its battle of wills with the defiant Uber, who obviously shouldn’t be regarded as the protagonist in this battle, because whoever wins, we, the riding public, clearly end up losing.
So maybe it’s time we reminded the LTFRB how this governance thing should go, because in their desire to establish themselves as the big dog in this yard, they have lost sight of what they really should be doing in the first place. Here are 8 signs they have gone astray:
They don’t understand their own mandate
In a grievous attempt to “one-size-fits-all” Uber and Grab akin to the way they handle other modes of transportation, the LTFRB has decided to impose their will and limited understanding on the TNVS instead of properly doing their homework and making regulations that fit this new system altogether.
Not pictured: a perfect fit.
The fact that they keep insisting on using buzzwords such as “safety” and “protection” for the riding public while shoving down the “safe” buses and “protective” jeepneys in our face should show us that the LTFRB, instead of promulgating and administering the law, would just rather throw something completely new into the same box everyone else is in, instead of fulfilling the part where they formulate policies, laws and regulations that are actually appropriate for these emerging endeavors.
So if you’re ever wondering why the LTO won’t let electric cars register under them, well, they clearly share a lot in common with the LTFRB: they’re too lazy to do their jobs, and would rather make something that’s actually good illegal than to be bothered with it.
They miss the bus (heh) on their franchising requirements
Not pictured: a competent PUV driver on the road.
Outside of fees, exactly what kind of hoops are people supposed to be jumping through to get their franchise in order? Papers? A psych test? Competency tests? Well, if there was anything more to these requirements than paperwork and money, shouldn’t we be expecting an uptick of competent PUV drivers on the road?
They do not perform their oversight functions
For a body that is supposed to ensure safety and convenience for the riding public, you would think the LTFRB would be responsive to any issues about erring drivers that they themselves certified, but you would be wrong.
Pictured: the LTFRB’s monitoring team.
Try it out yourself: call the hotline, and get treated to a non-answer. Somehow manage a hearing date against a cab driver who wronged you, and watch the hearing devolve into a he said, she said bonanza and ultimately, a waste of your time. For a bunch of drivers who supposedly met the LTFRB’s standards, they sure don’t act like people you would trust with your life in a two-ton hunk of metal hurtling at 80KM an hour, do they?
They forget that the government is made up of the people, by the people, FOR the people
For a government agency that’s supposed to serve the will of the people, the fact that they’re willing to engage in a dick measuring contest with Uber by suspending their operations instead of fining them only goes to show where their priorities lie.
“Uber has 55,000 cars. Take that away, and we won’t have traffic anymore.”
“Yeah. About that…”
If they really wanted to work for the people, then they would not have chosen the mode of punishment that would hurt the riding public and law-abiding Uber drivers at the same time as Uber itself. And now they say they want more taxis on the road. Careful now LTFRB, your bias is showing. Which puts into question why they are claiming to be working for “us,” in the first place. Who exactly is “us?” Bong Suntay?