Press Briefing

Press Briefing by Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella with Chairperson Martin Delgra III Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB)

Event Press Briefing
Location Kalayaan Hall, Malacañan Palace

OPENING STATEMENTS: 

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Good morning. We are pleased to have today Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Chair, Atty. Martin Delgra III.

It is his first time in government service. He has more than 28 years of law practice and litigation work, where he handled various cases and concerns in the fields of labor, criminal, civil, administrative and corporation laws.

He was a managing partner at Delgra, Lanzona and Quilatan Law Offices, where then Mayor Rodrigo Duterte was a client.

He finished his Bachelor of Laws in Ateneo de Davao University in ’87 and was admitted to the bar in ’88.

Ladies and gentlemen of the Malacañang Press Corps, let’s all give a warm welcome to Chair Martin Delgra. 

CHAIRPERSON DELGRA: Good morning everyone. It’s my first time here so I hope you’ll understand why I am acting this way.

But nevertheless, I’ve been — this is… As mentioned earlier, this is my first time in government and I’ve been a lawyer in Davao.

I started my practice in Basilan for the first three years working with the late Bishop Querejeta of Basilan.

So after my stint in Basilan, I went back to Davao and continued my private practice of law there until the time when the President asked me to join him in this — in his administration to head the LTFRB.

I got the call on May 30 and then the next day, we were called for the first Cabinet meeting during which or even after that meeting, we were already introduced to the public, May 31, 2016.

From that time on until the time when we took our oath of office on June 30, I was already working, preparing myself to the work that I am to assume a month later.

So there were already a number of meetings that we have to attend to with incoming Secretary — then incoming Secretary Art Tugade as well as our small team of DOTr officials who were already called to task to prepare for the transition.

And part of the transition also was for us to meet with the outgoing team in the DOTr.

So I was able to meet with then outgoing Winston Ginez at my level and then we also had meetings with then Secretary Emilio Abaya for the smooth transition in the DOTr team.

So July, we started working, until now, mostly on the principal issue or the principal mandate that the President have told me to do, which was to address corruption.

I may recall on the evening of May 31, when we were about to be introduced to the public.

He sat beside me and then he told me, “Bai, corrupt ‘yang ahensya mo.” So I know now at that time what I was tasked to do.

So in the first six months of my term, that was what — precisely what I did. I took out half of the regional directors — 7 or 8, if I can recall, and a total of more than 66 or 67 to date.

If you’re going to ask me whether the agency is clean, no it is not, and that we still get reports on the ground that there are reports of corruption and we continue to address that firmly and aggressively insofar as corruption issues are concerned.

We can understand, I can understand and I can also speak on behalf of Board member Lizada, who also comes from Davao, who also worked closely with the President before because she was once the chief of staff of the Mayor of Davao.

And I, being one of his lawyers, fully understand when he feels strongly about something, he really will do it. And when he said, “to stop corruption,” that is what we are mandated to do.

The first thing I did when I came in was to issue the “No Gift Policy.” There might have been a policy before that — similar policy before that what — but we took it to heart.

And in one TV interview, we know that Filipinos are a very gracious and generous people and probably, I will have to repeat this again: Na talagang out of their own goodness, nagbibigay talaga ‘yan sila.

Eh mahihirapan din kaming tumanggi kaya nagsabi na lang ako, “Please, huwag na lang kayo magbigay para hindi naman kami mahirapang tumanggi.”

‘Yan ang pabalik-balik naming sinasabi. And it happened one time na ‘yung — an old woman was really insistent. Utang na loob lang naman ‘no, it’s not out of, you know, bribery or anything of that sort.

Eh nagalit pa tuloy kung bakit tinanggihan ‘yung ibinibigay niya na pagkain naman ano. Sabi ko, “Huwag na po.” Actually, it was not me who talked to her pero we got those reports along the way.

So even those things, ‘yun po ang policy ng LTFRB, ‘yun din ang sinasabi namin sa mga empleyado namin and very firmly I would tell them, “If you cannot live on your salary, go find work elsewhere.” ‘Yun lang po ang sinasabi namin doon sa issue ng corruption.

That said, because — as you have seen it in the time when we assumed office — the President has been very strong about it. Nagmumura pa nga pagdating sa corruption.

‘Pag may masabi na LTO, sasabay talaga ‘yung LTFRB. ‘Pag may masasabi na LTFRB, nasasabay ‘yung LTO as among those corrupt agencies.

Eh we were addressing that. But unfortunately, the real mandate of LTFRB was relegated, which is actually to provide a safe, convenient, reliable public transportation system.

But you know, on the side, we were dealing with that. And I can proud to say, under the leadership of Secretary Tugade, that we were able to come up with this PUV modernization program, which was signed last June 19 at Camp Aguinaldo under DO or Department Order 2017-011, which lay the ground works — the structural and the legal framework by which we are going to move forward in this flagship program of the Duterte administration in modernizing our public transportation system.

Malakihan po ito. It involves a lot of components, not just from modernizing our jeepneys, even in pre-consolidation, even having to invite government financial institution precisely to make this work.

Kasi po nalaman namin na matagal na pala itong inaasam-asam na modernization program, mga ilang administration na po.

We would like to get this done and we would like to succeed in this modernization program of the public transportation system.

So ‘yun ho ang pinakamalaking programa na ginawa namin in the past months coming up towards this.

And now, we have done the initial implementation towards this. There is a three-year transition period. We hope that we’d be able to meet the target. Pero kung hindi man, ‘yung three-year po, it’s but a benchmark for us ‘no, for us in government na pwedeng kayanin.

Kung hindi — if we would be able to finish it in shorter than three years, the better. ‘Pag hindi, at least may gumagana ‘yung at ang — sa pagpapatupad ng modernization program na ito.

So ipinagmamalaki po namin itong programa na ito and essentially we are going to go full blast on this one. There have been a lot of things that we already have done to prepare for the modernization program.

I also probably would anticipate the news of the hour or news of the week or news of the month regarding ‘yung sa ride-sharing issue involving Uber and Grab.

This much I can tell you — and I will invite you to ask questions for some clarifications later. Ito hong programa — ito hong problema ng Uber, hindi ho lang nag-umpisa nung when we issued the suspension order on August 14.

Nag-umpisa na po ito last year pa lang. Kasi po when we assumed office, there were already 30,113 applications covering 32,000 units.

At that time, we thought that that would already more than adequately serve demand, okay.

But there were serous issues of accountabilities involving the TNC. Tawag namin doon ng Uber, Grab, UHop, TNC po sila — Transport Network Corporation.

What are those serious issues of accountability and as well as pricing? Doon na lang muna sa pangalawa kasi very ano naman ‘yun, madali lang sagutin ‘yung pangalawa, ‘yung sa pricing na ‘yun.

If you noticed last Christmas, December, ang raming reklamo na mataas masyado ‘yung surge, there was no cap. And so we have to make short our Christmas break in Davao to come here to summon the two TNCs and to clarify why there were surges — price surge, I mean.

So during that hearing, it was clarified na talagang umaabot ng mga five, six times as much as the normal rate ‘yung surge.

So the Board immediately issued an order setting a cap of times two the normal rate noong panahon na ‘yun. And that cap remains until today regardless of what’s happening to Uber right now, that cap remains, okay. Two times as much.

I just want to give you a little details on what the pricing is all about. ‘Yung Grab po, wala silang — kasi may flat rate ‘no. They have similarities to taxi.

Meron silang flat rate na 40 — on the basic service ha, meron silang premium kasi eh, iba ‘yung flat rate no’n, pareho din sa Uber, iba ‘yung flat rate, higher.

‘Yung sedan, ‘yung GrabCar or UberX, ang flat rate nila is P40. But Grab, on a per kilometer basis, would have 10 to 14, okay, pesos per kilometer. Wala silang ‘yung time distance. So regardless of traffic, ‘yun ‘yung per kilometer. Distance travelled ‘yung computation ng fare nila.

Uber has both distance travelled and time travelled. So P2 per minute and P5.70 per kilometer, ‘yun ‘yung sa Uber. But we still need to verify that nevertheless. That is what — that was what was disclosed to us.

 

Now, on the issue of accountability, ang problema namin doon is that TNC would say that they have nothing to do with the TNVS except that they are our what they call, “independent contractor” — on the principle of independent contractor.

But at the same time, if there are cases filed against Uber and its TNVS, they are very protective of their TNVS, ‘yung Transport Network Vehicle Service.

To say that if mayroong nagrereklamo na mga pasahero and ‘yung pasahero eh magtatanong kung sino ‘yung driver? Saan kami magrereklamo ng operator? Uber would say, “I cannot disclose those information, not unless the operator of the driver would consent to the disclosure of such information.”

The position of the Board, of the LTFRB, is that, the information that is protected under the Data Privacy Act, Republic Act 10173 ‘no, would cover in this case ‘no, private interest.

But we have told Uber that the protection of the law covering private interest ends when public interest begins insofar as having to — when you undertake a public transportation service, then you assume a public responsibility.

And that is what we have been calling the attention of Uber and Grab for that matter — na hindi pwedeng magtatago doon sa batas na ‘yun.

Kasi you are open to public scrutiny when you take in passengers for a fee. Eh matagal. And then on account of that, we were getting — we were trying to get their data. They were very stingy, “kuripot” on the data, both Grab and Uber.

But along the way, ‘yung 32, ang nangyari, more than two-thirds of that were denied. Why? Because they were not able to comply with very easy but very important jurisdictional requirement.

Ang ibig sabihin po, when you talk about jurisdictional requirement. These are requirements that you have to submit ‘no to comply with the regulatory functions or regulatory powers of getting into a public transportation service.

I say easy because you only need to attend hearing and submit documentary requirements. Hindi nga lang namin alam kung bakit nahirapan sila.

 

Until fast forward tayo nung nagpatawag si Senator Grace Poe, the first time that he called our attention when we issued the July 11, 2017 order. Doon na lang namin nalaman na nahirapan pala sila among other requirements, magsa-submit ng income tax return which is a requirement.

Because we all want to be tax compliant here, including the TNVS operators. Nahirapan pala sila doon. Pero nevertheless, we have already dismissed — I mean the two-thirds of the 32,000.

What has happened since then? Apparently, Uber took the risk of taking in more and more TNVS into their system, kahit na walang prangkisa.

Doon tuloy, nalaman na lang namin ‘yan when we called their attention when we issued the show cause order of July 11 taking them to task why their certificate of accreditation should not be cancelled because we already have apprehended 19 Uber colorum vehicles and 16 Grab colorum vehicles including the U-Hop.

Now, during the hearing, ang sinabi nila 28,000 sa Grab. Sabi naman ng Uber, 28,000 sila.

Nagulat kami because our record would only show about 10,000 pending including those which were already given franchises or CPCs.

That was the first time that we heard the numbers were that many, that huge. And we thought they were already transparent enough.

And so when we required them to issue — to submit their updated data base, they cannot do otherwise but comply with the order.

All the more we were surprised because we got the data already a day or two before the House Committee on Transportation that was called by Chair Congressman Cesar Sarmiento.

And it was in that the House committee hearing under oath they said, insofar as Uber is concerned 66,000 na pala ‘yung units nila. Uber — I mean Grab has 55,000 units all in all.

So that’s the difficulty insofar as the Board is concerned of having to engage them. But I have mentioned this many times, first we have been very — the government, particularly the Department of Transportation has been very supportive and will continue to be supportive of this ride sharing technology.

We just want to get better regulation so that we’d be able to address a very good balance between innovation and regulation.

Hindi ho naming… We’re not trying to stifle the technology. We just want to get the operators compliant and work with us in a transparent, even in a very transparent and honest way.

Kasi po, I like to mention this also, nangyari, na nung nag-submit sila ng mga data, nagulat kami na 66. We do not take it at face value. We scrutinize it.

The first three pages, we scrutinize it. In the case of Uber, mali-mali pa ‘yung mga data. Ibig sabihin, ‘yung mga dinismiss (dismiss) namin, ‘yung iba doon, ‘yung dinismiss namin na mga — makikita niyo po sa presentation.

Nung dinismiss na mga TNVS, pinalitan ng pangalan.I mean those are the difficulty that the Board has to confront.

Sabi namin, this is not about a fight. You know, you’re not supposed to fight us. We are supposed to work together to address common public transportation issues.

‘Yan ang pabalik-balik namin sinasabi sa kanila.

And then, that said, even if we’re very firm about the existing regulations that we need to enforce ‘no on the TNCs, as well as the TNVS, parallel to that, we’re also very much active in the technical working group meetings that we are having with the TNCs — Grab, Uber, and Hop.

We were already able to meet twice. We intend to meet again mukhang — probably next week ‘no. But we’re actually trying to gather all those data, all those proposals so that we’ll be able to — the aim of these technical working group meetings is precisely to review existing regulation, revise them, and improve on them. So that hindi na magkaloko-loko doon sa pagma-manage ng TNCs at tsaka TNVS.

Perhaps, very short lang po ito, ‘yung presentation namin sa, ‘yung ginawa namin na presentation before, we might want to do it again. Very quickly lang po.

Just a background, para malaman niyo kung where our mandate is coming from. It’s an old law. But basically, we’re talking about — which is still good law until now ‘no.

So that means, if you are somebody who would be engaged in public transpo. Meaning you take in a complete stranger or even a friend for a fee, then you are engage in public transpo. That’s basically what it means.

And therefore, you would fall under the regulatory powers of government ‘no.

Fast forward tayo dito sa — [No, no second page please. No, no second page, ay hindi second slide. Malayo kana.]

Okay now, in the… When the President Cory Aquino assumed power, exercising her revolutionary powers, she created LTFRB under EO 202 ‘no.

And then reiterating the earlier law of Commonwealth Act 146 stating that LTFRB would be the main agency in regulating public transportation services. [Next slide]

Now, we move forward to 2016. When we came into office, I just want to put this in context. When we came into office, those — the Department Order 2015-011 covering TNVS and TNCs were already there and the corresponding memorandum circulars ‘no, 16, 17, 18 covering TNCs including the terms and conditions of the accreditation as well as the rules and regulation of taking and securing franchises for TNVS were already there. Okay.

I just like to emphasize a few things here. Doon mismo sa existing regulation po, sinasabi na the drivers have to be registered with the LTFRB. ‘Yun ang sinasabi ko, even last year pa.

We have been asking for data from the TNCs. Ano ‘yun? ‘Yung data on the driver as well as the data on the operators, ‘yung TNVS. Ngayon lang po nila sinubmit (submit) ngayon taon lang.

So ‘yan, the vehicle obviously, there are requirements on the vehicle age ‘no. [And then, next slide]

This one, we just like to point out that the initial legal and structural framework in regulating TNCs and TNVS galing sa DOTC before and DOTr now.

But under that Department Order, we also recognized the power of Congress to legislate — to legislate laws in order to address this very unique but beneficial mode of public transport.

So we await legislation of Congress, we have been saying that we are very much willing and we have been engaging them to help them craft a law that will really serve and address this type of public transportation system.

So ito po. Meron tayong MC 016 covering the terms and conditions of the TNC. [And next slide please]

Doon po sa nakalagay doon sa rules and regulation on the TNC po, kailangan meron silang mobile apps. Nakalagay doon sa mobile apps nila, among other things, in order to — for the protection of the passenger, nakalagay doon ‘yung pangalan, picture, pati ‘yung plate number ng — make and plate number of the vehicle ‘no, as well as the ride history.

Pero nakalagay din doon, ‘yung case number issued by the board. So when you take a ride, nakikita niyo na nakalagay. Minsan, nakalagay, o karamihan, hindi lang minsan kasi maraming colorum nga eh. Nakalagay doon, “on process”. Ibig sabihin po, hindi sila nakapag-apply man lang. Kasi ‘pag…

When you file for an application of a franchise, mabibigyan na kayo ng case number ‘no, even if your application is pending. Pero ‘pag sabihin mo on process, malaking question na ‘yan ‘no.

Now, ID cards have to be worn during the pre-arranged ride. Nangyayari ba ‘yan sa inyo taking Uber and Grab? So those things we have to —

These are… I have to put this in context again. I learned that these things were actually crafted with the help of the TNCs themselves.

So hindi raw talaga pwede na, “Ay hindi namin alam ‘yan.” They were there when these MCs were crafted. In fact, the business model that Uber submitted to LTFRB for the purpose of securing a certificate of accreditation, listed there, seven items, four of which says that they will comply with the rules and regulations of LTFRB.

And where are we now? Far from their business model. Kasi marami talagang colorum.

 

And they started it last year, when they started taking in TNVS even without the franchise or the permit coming from LTFRB.

Trade dress is also an issue, although it’s a minor issue kasi daw may mga issues about hindi namin alam kung ano ito ‘no, even the public would not know it. So we will now require a permanent, like a sticker on the windshield of the vehicle ‘no, part of the improvement that we want.

Kasi ang nangyayari, ‘yung trade dress na ‘yan, ‘pag may sasakay, inilalagay lang ‘yung sign. And more often than not, hindi inilalagay. It’s more complied in the breach ‘no that it is compliance.

[And balik tayo doon]

Ito ‘yung sinasabi ko na nakalagay diyan na duly franchised TNVS lang po ang pwedeng kumuha ng ride. Now, we have a problem. Now, again — [continue please]

So there is also a requirement for them to make reportings and we have not been doing that ‘no.

Ang position ng Uber, proprietary information po ito. Sabi ko, mukhang magkalabuan tayo diyan.

Kasi ho lahat ng pang-publikong sasakyan po are private information. Kahit na sino sa inyo, kung gusto niyong kumuha ng information for a franchise verification, you can just go to the office and secure one.

So wala pong… There’s no proprietary interest protected for all public transportation system po.

Ito, gusto kong klaruhin. Kasi po nasasaktan ‘yung mga tao dahil doon sa suspension. In fact, we have very deliberate. We have been painstaking on the discussion that — the latest decision we have made suspending Uber.

But before that, kasi alam namin ‘yung repercussions. We impose a fine of five million, if you recall ‘no, July 11, 2017.

Now, kasi alam namin na maraming matatamaan. And we thought they have learned their lessons ‘no. Humirit pa nga sila na they were afraid na by July 26, baka mawawala na talaga. But they were able to file a motion for reconsideration and that stayed the order of July 11.

Now, that said, ‘yung July 26 order was very clear. While we are talking on the side, very seriously, very vigorously in having to come up with improved regulations ‘no, in having to address TNC and TNVS issues, huwag na muna kayong kukuha pa o mag-a-accept ng application. Kasi po it raises a lot of false expectations on the riding public and more particularly on the TNVS.

You will hear sad stories about people na nagsasangla ng mga lupa o buhay, umuutang sa bangko para makakuha ng sasakyan, para ma-i-apply sa Uber at tsaka Grab ‘no.

We heard stories about that firsthand. We get calls almost everyday because of that.

And so sabi namin, “huwag na muna”. There are too many colorums already. Okay. So ‘yun.

Akala namin, compliant sila. That was the July 26 order, and it was very clear in that order, no — no… I mean, the… Even the acceptance of application should not be allowed anymore.

Grab was compliant, Uber was not. Because the day after that, we tried to get one government vehicle — one LTFRB vehicle — and if I may say, the service vehicle of one of the board members, nakapasok dun sa system nila. And it became active within a period of 45 minutes.

On the part of Uber, sinasabi nila, “we accepted, but we did not activate”. But the point there is — the order was very clear — “not even to accept”.

And they admitted openly because their second-to-the-last public statement says “we are accepting, but not processing.”

It shows defiance on the part of Uber, while at the same time, we’re trying to work this hard. We’re trying to work this very hard to address this problem.

Kasi po  when we are addressing sa sinasabi ng Presidente before that during his SONA ‘no that the anti-colorum campaign will continue and it will be relentless. That was a policy statement made during the SONA. And that is precisely what we did ’no.

From 17 units in the first six months of 2016, we had over 400 units apprehended in the second. And now, we have so many colorum TNVS. We’re trying to contain the problem, while at the same time, addressing it. Together with the TNCs themselves.

 

So sabi namin, “Tigil muna.” But apparently, Uber has a different… [So tuloy lang po. Very quickly na lang. ‘Yan lang po, walang ano — sige, diretso lang. Okay.]

Okay. Those are the engagement that we have made with TNCs precisely to address TNC issues. [Sige pa.]

So we meted a fine. And then that is what I said earlier about 28,000 and apparently, they were not accurate, much less honest about their disclosure, 66 pala at saka 55.

Updates in colorum, ‘yun ang sinasabi namin. So we will… Ito ho may 19 Ubers and then… ‘Yun ‘yung sinasabi ko, magsa-submit sila ng mga data, when we will crosscheck it, iba na ‘yung mga pangalan. Again, they were not, to say the least, accurate or plainly not honest about it — about their disclosure. [Sige]

We have Grab. ‘Yung mytaxi.ph, we have 16 of them. Pero hindi ho nila masabi na tinitira lang namin ‘yung Grab and Uber because I’ve said the anti-colorum campaign of this administration, according to the President — and that is what we did — relentless.

Eto po, sa Central Office lang ito and it’s over 600,000 all over the country. [Sige, tuloy na.] 645 as of… Ito po, 66. July to December pa lang ‘yan nung last year. As of the last count of this year, 66 — 645 na po ‘no.

We’re looking at the numbers on ‘yung mga possible ano nila. Low range on how much they’re earning.

[Sige po. Next.] So ‘yun lang po, insofar as… I would rather that questions would be raised para ma-clarify.

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS:

Leila Salaverria (Philippine Daily Inquirer): Good morning, sir.

CHAIRPERSON DELGRA: Good morning.

Ms. Salaverria: Sir, I just like to follow up on the status of Uber’s petition that it just pay fines instead of being suspended.

 

CHAIRPERSON DELGRA: Okay. Actually if we may recall, that there was a closed door meeting that was called by Senator Grace Poe last week, last Wednesday.

And there were some talks about Uber having to admit their violation, but instead of having to be suspended for one month, they’re willing to pay a fine.

They already have filed that motion last Friday and it will be heard tomorrow at the LTFRB.

They have made a — their proposal is to pay twice the fine that they were previously sanctioned, which is 10,000.

But we’re still looking at all angles insofar as having to understand ‘no the gravity of the offense that they have committed.

Ms. Salaverria: Sir, may I know, what are the factors that you would consider in deciding on the petition? Because some citizens are saying that they’d rather have the service back because of convenience.

CHAIRPERSON DELGRA: Okay, since you mentioned that. Let’s go into the — on the service muna not on the factors. If I may use this…

As I’ve mentioned earlier… As I’ve mentioned earlier, hindi po natin pinapatay ‘yung ride-sharing technology. Ina-address natin ‘yung mga problema na lumalabas in the last several months. Eh talagang humantong lang dito sa punto na ito.

Ganito po. Let’s take about the two major players. Ito ‘yung Grab, 55,000. [writes on the board] Ito ‘yung Uber, sabi nila, 66,000.

When I say “sabi nila, 66,000,” apparently, a few days after they made that disclosure, we were able to get another data from the insurance commission na mukhang more than 66,000 pala. But I will not get into that anymore.

Again, I keep on saying that let’s just be transparent to each other so that we will be able to work together on this.

Ano ‘yung nasa gitna? Ito ‘yung tinatawag na dual citizen. May Grab at saka Uber. Gaano kalaki ito? Sabi nila — again, sabi nila — 60 percent.

 

Ang tinamaan lang po dun sa suspension na ‘yan, ‘yung dito. ‘Yung 40 percent. Kasi po, ‘yung Uber na Grab din, makapag — makapagpasada pa rin. And how many is this? How many is this? Malaki.

You’re still looking at how many? More or less, 55? And now, to further address that, we came up with a resolution, a Board Resolution last week, saying that “the Uber drivers — exclusive Uber drivers — can migrate here.” Not over there, but here ‘no so that they can still book a ride through the Grab system. During the period of suspension. ‘Yun ‘yun. ‘Yun ‘yung plano dun sa Board Resolution na ‘yan.

Now, that is what’s happening here. Again, what is really the picture that we’re looking at? Okay. I would like to borrow the illustration that was made by one TNC during one of the technical working group that we had.

This is basically what is… Insofar as demand is concerned. Ito po. Cite mo na lang ‘yung example. Example na lang ‘yung Uber — 66. Palagay na nating 66 na itong lahat. Ang sinasabi nila na ‘yung demand daw at anytime is somewhere 12 to 15,000.

Ito, sabi nila ha. We still have to verify it. Pero ang sinasabi din nila na at anytime din po, available lang is 7 to 9,000 TNVS. Anong… You could just see the number as to why the disparity and why we still don’t get a ride. Ang nangyayari pala, most of them are what you call part-time. Full-time. Part-time, full-time. Meron pang ‘yung part of the part-time, meron pa silang mga maliliit, they categorize this into five rides a week, 10 rides a week, 40 rides a week. ‘Yung mga ganon ‘no.

Pero ang gusto nating mangyari na ganito. Ideally, ito ‘yung gusto nating mangyari. Ganon. Equal. Kung sine-serve natin ‘yung demand — this is the demand by the way — this is the TNVS available at anytime, and this is the one in their system ‘no, accredited.

Now, ang gusto nating mangyari that we will reach an equilibrium na kung ‘yung demand na ito would be equivalent to supply. So ang gusto nating mangyari, a number of TNVS, pupunta dito. Meaning, they will take longer hour, ‘no, to make themselves available to address demand.

‘Yun ang gusto nating mangyari. ‘Yun ang pinag-uusapan namin sa technical working group. Okay? ‘Yun po, insofar as that one is concerned.

So pwede ko nang hindi sagutin ‘yung mga factors. Kasi at the end of the day, ‘yan talaga ang gusto nilang makita.

 

‘Yan din ang gusto nating maging impact doon sa lansangan.

Ms. Salaverria: Thank you.

Rosalie Coz (UNTV): Sir, aware po kayo na may price surge sa Grab simula nung ma-suspend ‘yung Uber?

CHAIRPERSON DELGRA: I was told about it, and we have been monitoring it, and we have told Grab to stay on the cap that we have imposed as early as December 27, 2016, where they are allowed a surge of twice as much as the basic rate. The order of December 27 stays until today.

Ms. Coz: Pero sir, since last week, talaga pong mataas ‘yung presyo. Katunayan, hindi po ako makapag-book. Dahil sa…

CHAIRPERSON DELGRA: No, no, no. These are two things.

Ms. Coz: Sa Grab po…

CHAIRPERSON DELGRA: I’m sorry. Hindi ka makapag-book dahil mataas ang presyo or hindi ka makapag-book dahil hindi available?

Ms. Coz: Hindi, hindi… Ayaw ko pong mag-book dahil ang taas ng presyo.

CHAIRPERSON DELGRA: Okay. That said, you… You give me that information and I will have to call their attention as regards to that. If need be, we will penalize Grab as well.

Ms. Coz: Pangalawa po, sir. Recently, nag-trending po sa Facebook itong post ng about sa chat room ng LTFRB Citizen Enforcer. Na may nagca-clarify kung may sarili siyang sasakyan at nag-offer siya ng ride sa kanyang mga ka-opisina, nanghingi siya ng ambag sa parking or sa gasolina, pwede raw ba siyang i-fine dun. Ang sagot sa kanya ay oo daw po, katulad ng Uber. Pwede pong paki-clarify ‘tong issue na ‘to, sir?

CHAIRPERSON DELGRA: Okay. Good that you mentioned that because hindi masyado ako nag-aano sa social media. But I was told about that.

And then the… I have to clarify it with the head of the PACD — the Public Assistance Complaint Desk who was handling that. He told me na iba ‘yung sagot niya doon sa nag-viral.

That is why we will now be calling the NBI to investigate how that happened. Kasi iba ang lumabas doon sa nagva-viral na pho — screenshot.

Ms. Coz: So ano po ang tamang sagot, sir?

CHAIRPERSON DELGRA: Ang tamang sagot po ganito. Going back to the basic reg — the basic requirement of a public transpo is that when you take in a passenger for a fee, then you undertake a public transportation service. If you don’t, wala.

If you take in a friend for a fee, that’s it. Just like any — ‘di ba? It’s a very simple rule to follow.

Kaya nga nakapagtataka na hina-hype nila ‘yan dahil nga as it turned out, mali pala. Hindi pala ‘yung sagot niya.

Pinaklaro ko dun sa tao na sumagot diyan. Hindi ho ‘yan ang sagot, kaya gusto kong klaruhin kung ano talaga. Mahaba pa ho, hindi lang ho, “Yes, sir.” Mahaba pa ho ‘yung sagot niya.

Pia Gutierrez (ABS-CBN): Hi, sir. Sir, after ng suspension ng Uber, many netizens flooded the social media on reports of rude taxi drivers, taxi drivers na nagre-refuse silang isakay, lalo na nung malakas ang ulan. Can we also get an assurance, sir, that the LTFRB will be addressing these concerns?

CHAIRPERSON DELGRA: We are, we are addressing. On… on… On several factors po. Kasi po we are in fact going to meet with the largest taxi operation organization in the Philippines, ‘yung grupo nila Bong Suntay, tomorrow at 3 o’ clock in the afternoon at LTFRB to address not only that issue.

But moving forward, the mobile apps that they have put in place, the issue about having to address adding in more taxi.

But we would like to get the help of the transport planners and the expert of U.P. on how to calibrate giving or opening up more franchises, again, to address supply of taxi — I mean, to put in more supply in order to address demand.

Ms. Gutierrez: Another question, sir. Sir, I understand that the LTFRB has ordered a new player — Arcade City — to stop its operations. But Arcade City is now saying that the LTFRB cannot regulate them like Uber and Grab because they do not fall under the definition of TNC. So, ano po ang sagot natin dito, sir?

CHAIRPERSON DELGRA: So long as they are ta — the TNC would actually be taking a fee insofar as connecting the driver with the rider, then that would fall under the basic concept of a TNC.

Ms. Gutierrez: Nakita ko kasi, sir, dun sa definition, dapat preset ‘yung compensation.

CHAIRPERSON DELGRA: Preset. Opo.

Ms. Gutierrez: Eh ang sinasabi ng Arcade City, sir, na bahala na mag-usap ‘yung driver and its passenger kung magkano ‘yung ibabayad. So, how is that the same with a TNC, sir?

CHAIRPERSON DELGRA: I hope they — they will not be like the other TNC. If they want to be clarified about the regulatory — the regulatory framework under which a TNC is supposed to work, they might as well come to us and clarify these things.

Ms. Gutierrez: Last na lang po, sir. What message do you have as well to Wunder Carpool and Angkas, who apparently also operate without franchises?

CHAIRPERSON DELGRA: ‘Yung Angkas po, ang pagkaalam namin sa Angkas, ‘yung mga tricy — oh, I’m sorry — motorcycles. Insofar as LTFRB is concerned, ‘yung jurisdiction po namin ay ‘yung sa ano lang — ‘yung four-wheeled vehicle.

And we understand that there are number of LGUs who are for and some of them are against these type of public — to make a motorcycle a mode of public transpo. But, if you’re going to ask LTFRB, that is not a safe and convenient mode of public transpo.

That is why, our position there is not to endorse Angkas. And for that matter, motorcycle as a mode of public transpo. Because that is unsafe and inconvenient.

Ms. Gutierrez: ‘Yung Wunder pool, sir? Wunder pool po?

CHAIRPERSON DELGRA: ‘Yung Wunder pool po, would also fall under the concept of the TNC. And that is why we recall that we have issued an advisory calling on Wunder pool to stop their operation.

Llanesca Panti (Manila Times): Sir, balikan ko lang sa taxis because you were very quick in penalizing Uber and Grab. What are you doing about these taxis who keep — taxi drivers who keep on refusing passengers, especially when it’s raining — it’s rainy season? What are… What are the specific sanctions that you have imposed to these drivers? How many drivers were sanctioned? And how are these sanctions determined against these taxi drivers who refuse passengers? Because that’s the main problem. And sir, about Grab and Uber, may clarification din ako dun, kasi Grab and Uber are not really on the same boat…

CHAIRPERSON DELGRA: Why?

Ms. Panti: Because sa Uber, sir, the driver does not see the destination.

CHAIRPERSON DELGRA: Ah, okay.

Ms. Panti: So, you have greater chances of being — of securing a booking with Uber. Kasi hindi nila alam kung saan ka pupunta. ‘Pag nag-book ka ng Malacanang, nag-book ako ng SM Fairview, hindi nila malalaman, “Ay, SM Fairview pala ‘to. Anlayo.” Diba? So…

CHAIRPERSON DELGRA: So, that’s basically the reason why…

Ms. Panti: No. Siya, sa kanya Grab. ‘Yung Grab kasi, sir, nakikita nila na SM Fairview ako pupunta. So, they can always refuse. ‘Yung Uber, they can’t refuse. They will just — ‘pag, ‘pag ano ko, ‘pag sakay ko, they will just be surprised, “SM Fairview pala ‘to pupunta.” So, they are not really exactly the s…

CHAIRPERSON DELGRA: You want it to be the same? Then we will — we will make it — we will regulate it that way. The point there is something — first, I will just like to…

Ms. Panti: The taxi drivers who refuse passengers first.

CHAIRPERSON DELGRA: Ah, okay. First, before I will answer that, I would just like to discount the misimpression that you have created, that we are quick to violate Uber and Grab.

You mentioned that in the first part. We are not quick. In fact, we came too late to realize how big the problem was. ‘Yan ang gusto kong klaruhin sa inyo.

 

And insofar as mga pasaway na taxi, matagal na po. Two-pronged approach po ito — carrot and stick ‘no. We have made parangal on mga taxi driver na talagang magalang, mabait ‘no, ‘yung mga ganun. At the same time, yeah, ‘yung Oplan Isnabero namin has been there all throughout everyday of the year.

So, ‘yung mga — as with the statistics, and as to how we have resolved these cases po, I don’t have it right now. But I can assure you, we’re also hitting taxi — pasaway na mga taxi drivers po.

That said, on the institutional reforms that we need to address, if you might have heard, that we already have launched as early as June, the Drivers Academy Program. And last week, we started the first batch of Drivers Academy seminars, all throughout the country, hindi lang po sa Metro Manila — all throughout the country.

On the first day po, we already have seven — 733 drivers. Kasama na po all types of public utility vehicle drivers. Kasama ‘yung taxi, bus, UV, PUJ, of all sorts.

So this will continue at least two times a week and if the — if the regional offices can accommodate more schedules during the week, then let them.

But there will be at least two days — Thursdays and Fridays — every week, until we will be able to educate the drivers of their responsibility as public utility drivers.

I just like to point out this Drivers Academy Program. This is an institutional program that we have put in place. Malaki po ito.

And then, we would like to thank the help given to us by the top three universities — UP, Ateneo, La Salle — in coming up with the modules for this Drivers Academy Program.

There are even programs on anger management, on traffic rules ‘no, as well as the driver having to understand the terms and conditions of the franchise. Kasi po ang nangyayari, ‘pag merong mga pasaway na taxi driver, ang tinatamaan, ‘yung may hawak ng prangkisa. And that is the operator. ‘Yung taxi driver ‘no, they can just get away with it. ‘Pag papatalsikin ng operator, lilipat lang dun sa kabila ‘no?

Pero that is what we’re trying to address na pati ‘yung driver would really be able to take it to heart that public responsibility that ‘pag hahawak siya ng manubela, no less than the lives and limbs of the — of his passenger is at stake. ‘Yun ang kinaklaro namin dun.

So we hope that moving forward in a very positive manner, this Drivers Academy Program will have a very positive impact.

Ms. Panti: Pero sir, wala po kayong figure — exact figure like, na —

CHAIRPERSON DELGRA: I can give it to you later.

Ms. Panti: Na na-sanction na erring taxi drivers?

CHAIRPERSON DELGRA: Ah, okay. We are talking about taxi drivers po. Drivers?

Ms. Panti: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON DELGRA: Okay. What we do is like this. As the — the figures, wala po. Sa ngayon, sa ngayon. But we can get it to you this afternoon if you want ‘no.

Now, sa — ganito. LTFRB has jurisdiction over franchises. Ibig sabihin, public utility vehicles. But, we also sanction — not necessarily sanction at first — but we would recommend to LTO to sanction them. Kasi ang drivers po, ang may jurisdiction, ‘yung LTO. Sila po ang may ano.

So we recommend the sanction. It could be cancellation, it could be suspension — three months, six months, one year — or cancellation of their license. And then it’s now up to LTO to make that judgment kasi sila naman din po ang may jurisdiction over all drivers.

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Good morning.

On the Southeast Asian Games update:

The Philippines continues to reap medals in the ongoing Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.

As of 7 p.m. last night, we have three golds, six silver, and six bronze medals.

We’d like to congratulate Samantha Catantan and Maxine Esteban for finishing with silver and bronze medals, respectively, in women’s foil individual.

Also, Agatha Chrystenzen Wong likewise got a silver medal for the country in wushu women’s taijijian. While Rizzalyn Amolacion, Kristel Carloman, Mary Ann Lopez, Lhaina Mangubat, and Jean Marie Sucalit of the women’s regu sepak takraw gave us the bronze medal.

And to the rest of the Team Philippines, we wish them the best of luck.

On the rescue of the Vietnamese sailor:

We welcome the good news that our troops rescued a Vietnamese sailor from the hands of the Abu Sayyaf group in Basilan last weekend.

Do Trung Huie is in high spirits and now in Zamboanga undergoing medical check-up and debriefing. All operations against the members of the ASG remain focused and intense, especially as they continue their acts of violence and terrorism, the most recent of which is the attack during a town fiesta in Maluso in Basilan.

Also, we have a statement which is coming from — the official statement coming from the AFP regarding a dubious group called PADEM:

“Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

The AFP categorically denies the recent statement issued by a group that pretends to be a representative of the men and women of the AFP and the PNP and call themselves the Patriotic and Democratic Movement (PADEM).

The entire AFP along with all the men and women of the uniformed services and all its civilian personnel stand by the Constitutionally mandated government and unequivocally support the Commander-in-Chief.

The accusations and issues cited by the group are unfounded and uncalled for. Such issues are clearly politically motivated and a matter that the AFP does not and will not subscribe to.

Current developments and issues that this group wishes to take advantage of is now being addressed by the DOJ and parties to a possible crime are now under detention. Let us respect these processes and not allow ourselves to be used by individuals or groups with vested interests. We appeal for sobriety, reason and patience as we await the results of these processes.

We are the constitutionally mandated protectors of the people and we will stand by our law abiding citizens whenever and wherever we are needed. Having affirmed this, the AFP however, will not hesitate in acting against forces who shall undermine the stability and security of our country and those who wish to destabilize our nation thru unconstitutional means.

The AFP appeals to the public and the various political groups to respect the apolitical stance of the AFP and to help bring unity and healing instead of fomenting divisiveness and collapse.”

We also express our sincerest condolences to the family of the Filipino boy who died during the Barcelona attack.

We extend sympathies to those who lost their loved ones and pray for the swift recovery of all those injured by this senseless act of violence.

The Department of Foreign Affairs continues to extend assistance to our kababayans affected by this heinous terrorist act.

As of the 22nd of August, day 92 of the rebellion in Marawi:

Enemies killed: 582 or additional 2.

Civilians killed: no change.

Firearms recovered: 648 or plus 8.

Civilians rescued: 1,728, no change.

Buildings cleared: 28

Yesterday, as of August [2017], killed in action: 129

Donations for the AFP killed in action and their families, the balance is now at 35,674,203.23. And for the Marawi IDPs, we have 938,695.21.

We’re open to a few questions.

Maricel Halili (TV5): Hi, sir, good morning. Sir, just a follow up about the appointment of Lapeña. Why does the President personally choose Lapeña to replace Faeldon as commissioner of Bureau of Customs? And what does the President expect from him?

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Honesty — honesty and trustworthiness. I think the President made clear that he — the reason why he chooses men especially from the military who happened to be coming from the military is the fact that they are very efficient — they’re quite efficient, and they are trustworthy as far as the President is concerned.

Ms. Halili: But given that Lapeña came from PDEA. Do we now expect a drug-free Customs? BOC. 

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: A drug-free Customs? I don’t know if that is the mandate for Mr. Lapeña but the mandate is to keep it trustworthy, clean and corruption-free.

Ms. Halili: And may plano po ba si Presidente, sir, to reappoint Faeldon to other government positions given that sinabi naman ni Presidente that he still believes?

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Yes, based on his statements, he apparently — he,  Mr. Faeldon, still maintains the President’s trust and I’m sure the President will find situations for him to be of use.

Ms. Halili: Last na lang po, sir. Ano ‘yung nag-trigger kay Presidente, bakit finally nag-decide siya to accept the resignation of Faeldon after three attempts to file resignation?

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: We don’t know the exact tipping point but the fact is that he finally made a decision.

Ms. Salaverria: Good morning, sir.

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Yes ma’am.

Ms. Salaverria: Sir, does Malacanang still see the need to constitute an independent fact finding body to investigate the death of Kian delos Santos as suggested by some officials? 

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: At this stage, I don’t know if there’s going to be an intervention, I believe, if I understand, I believe the President will just follow whatever is — the way the things are unfolding at this stage.

Ms. Salaverria: Sir, what do you mean? 

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: The way it’s being investigated. Are you talking about an independent, right?

Ms. Salaverria: fact-finding—

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Fact-finding group. That will be his — that will be his call.

Ms. Salaverria: Sir, do you think the current investigation headed by government agencies would suffice?

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: I think we should trust the process.

Hanna Sancho (Sonshine Radio): Good morning, sir. Sir, ano po ‘yung magiging agenda ng courtesy call ni Australian Secret Intelligence Service Director General Nicolas Peter Warner kay President Duterte this afternoon?

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Hindi po mali — wala pong naka-set na agenda. But they’ll definitely are going to be meeting up.

Ms. Sancho: Sir, ‘yung — last question, sir.

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Yes, ma’am.

Ms. Sancho: ‘Yung regarding po sa sentiments ng ilang sumali sa rally kay Kian last night, they’re saying na out of control na po ang Pangulong Duterte doon sa issue nung pag-handle ng pulis sa anti-drug war operation at tila kinocontrol na po siya ng — ‘yung mga pulis, kinocontrol na daw ‘yung Pangulo?

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: I think they misread the situation. The President is very concerned that these things will be properly handled and properly managed.

Ms. Sancho: Pero hindi totoo, sir, na walang control ang Pangulo doon sa drug problem?

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Malinaw naman na the President is in full control.

Ms. Sancho: Thank you.

Philip Tubeza (Philippine Daily Inquirer): Sir, good morning. Follow up lang po doon sa PADEM. Ano po ‘yung assessment ng Palasyo sa grupong ito? Is it just a small group?

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Well, I don’t know. But we based our statement on the AFP’s own assessment, that it is a politically motivated group and that we should not be — we should be [inaudible] their statements.

Mr. Tubeza: Thank you, sir.

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Sure.

Rocky Ignacio (PTV-4): Okay, last question may patanong lang Spokesperson kung totoo daw po ‘yung offer ni President Duterte kay Doris Bigornia na maging DSWD Secretary? 

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Eh totoo man o hindi, tinanggihan ni Doris, ‘di ba? [laughter]

—END—

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