Russians invade Cebu: LTFRB busts illegal Moscow-based ride-hailing app ‘inDriver’
CEBU CITY — The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) in Central Visayas has issued a warning to those behind a Russian-based ride-hailing app operating in Cebu without accreditation from the board.
Retired Col. Edgardo Montealto Jr., regional director of LTFRB-7, said his office apprehended in three separate operations last week four private vehicles for ferrying passengers using the app “inDriver.”
InDriver is not among the ride-hailing apps that include Grab Car, MiCab, Hype, and Hirna recognized by the LTFRB as legitimate and licensed to engage in transportation network vehicle service (TNVS) operation in the country, he said.
The four vehicles apprehended in separate operations last week were impounded pending payment of penalty ranging from PHP120,000 to PHP200,000 for engaging in colorum operations, aside from being blacklisted for 90 days, he said.
Although unaccredited with the LTFRB central office, inDriver emerged in Cebu two weeks ago and enticed taxi operators and private car owners to use the app for passenger booking.
Montealto said inDriver has no accreditation to operate as TNVS in the country, not even in Cebu.
Accordingly, inDriver was founded in Russia in 2012 and operates in 31 countries around the world but it has neither an office nor an operational base in Manila and in any part of the country.
The regional director of LTFRB-7 said he could not ascertain who are behind the operations of inDriver in Cebu as they could not locate its office here.
“One of the owners who came to the LTFRB-7 regional office confided that private car owners like him and the taxi operators were enticed to go into TNVS because a public official himself posted in his Facebook account patronizing inDriver ride-hailing app as a sideline income using his own car,” Montealto said in a message sent to the Philippine News Agency on Sunday.
He said taxi operators and private car owners planning to engage in app-based passenger booking service should choose accredited TNVS.
“They may inquire at our regional office to know which are the legitimate Transport Network Companies (TNCs) accredited by LTFRB and the list of the requirements,” he said.
To avoid inconvenience, he urged passengers to use any of the apps accredited with the board in booking their trips, adding that colorum vehicles have no insurance and their operators are not paying the required taxes.
LTFRB record showed Cebu has reached the cap of 1,500 TNVS while the request for additional units has not yet been approved by the board. (PNA)