DOTr to LTFRB: Allow hatchbacks as TNVS units

DOTr to LTFRB: Allow hatchbacks as TNVS units

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has ordered the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to honor its memorandum allowing hatchback vehicles for Transport Network Vehicle Service (TNVS) operations. 

Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade yesterday ordered the LTFRB to implement its Memorandum Circular 2018-005 that allows hatchbacks as public transport during the transition period of three years. 

The circular allowed hatchbacks to operate in Metro Manila but with a lower fare rate until 2021 but the LTFRB decided to prohibit the cars in recent franchise applications.

A hatchback is a vehicle with two rows of seats, with the rear seat able to fold down to increase cargo space. Unlike a sedan, it has no trunk.

LTFRB officials argued that only hatchback vehicles that were among the 55,000 TNVS units in the master list and whose applications were filed from March 5 to Dec. 15, 2018 were covered by the circular.

Tugade said that there is a need for the LTFRB to amend its memorandum, otherwise it would have to be implemented. 

Undersecretary for Road Transport and Infrastructure Mark Richmund de Leon pushed for the inclusion of hatchbacks in the TNVS fleet as he said it will benefit commuters.  

TNVS operators with hatchbacks that were previously delisted could be given priority for re-enlistment for franchise applications, he added.

“In bigger metropolitan areas like London and Tokyo, hatchbacks are allowed to operate as public transport. If First World countries and cities allow it, why can’t we? These vehicles are more fuel-efficient and, thus, are good for the environment,” De Leon said.

“We are giving the commuters their transport options. If they want their travel to be cheaper, then use hatchback,” he said.