Grab Philippines on Monday asked the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to find ways to quickly increase the number of drivers, as soaring demand for rides continues to be underserved.

“If there is room for Grab to help LTFRB in the processing of driver applications, we are very much willing to help,” Grab Philippines President Brian Cu said at a hearing called by the regulator to explain why the company deactivated yesterday 8,000 drivers who failed to obtain a permit from LTRFB to ferry passengers.

Cu said deactivating them is “painful” because everybody loses in the scenario: the drivers who lost their livelihood; and the passengers who will find it harder to hail a ride.

“The best scenario for the Filipino people, is to have more drivers which results in passenger convenience, and less traffic as car owners will just need to hail a ride, instead of bringing their cars out. If LTRFB will allow the deactivated drivers to resume work while it processes the application of 10,000 new drivers, that would be the best win for the Filipino people,” he added.

The number of vehicles needed to service the users of TNVS is already insufficient by around 15,000 daily active vehicles. This deactivation will increase that gap resulting in more difficulty in getting a car through the app.

“As painful and inconvenient as this is, making sure that the vehicles on the Grab platform all have the legal right to service passengers. This was made clear to us in the various meetings with the LTFRB and in congress. This inconvenience will be felt even after the 10,000 new slots as twice that number is necessary to provide the 70% allocation rate they said they want to maintain,” said Cu.

Cu added, if only the cap of 65,000 drivers as set by LTFRB is achieved, a supply-demand equilibrium would have been closely approximated.

“We are offering a solution to the riding public and livelihood opportunities to drivers, as well as supporting the car, banking, and insurance industries. We will continue to be part of the solution in every way we can, even in businesses like on-demand deliveries and payment systems, among others,” he added.

For five days starting Monday, Grab opened TNVS Help Center at Matrix Events place, just behind the LTRFB office in Quezon City to help thousands of driver-applicants make sure their applications are complete and proper.

“We can do more for the drivers, the public and LTFRB if given the leeway. We will continue to champion the best interest of the Filipino people, and we enjoin everyone to be partners in growth, service, and transport efficiency for the country,” Cu said.

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