2 drivers arrested for using illegal Russian ride-hailing app in Cebu
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) in Central Visayas on Tuesday apprehended two more owners of private cars considered operating as “colorum” for using “inDriver”, an illegal ride-hailing app in booking passengers.
Eduardo Montealto Jr., regional director of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) in Region 7 (Central Visayas), said on Wednesday that although in Driver maintains a “virtual office” with no physical office in Cebu, it has been actively operating through social media.
This, Montealto said, was despite the warning he issued on Monday against private car owners and taxi operators not to use the app as it has not been accredited with the LTFRB as transport network vehicle service (TNVS).
“We have conducted intelligence gathering for one month after we received the report that inDriver is engaging the public using Facebook. It’s impossible for them to operate legally as there is an existing moratorium from the Department of Transportation (DOTr) on the accreditation of new TNCs (transport network companies),” Montealto said in an interview with the Philippine News Agency.
He said only Grab Car, MiCab, Hype, and Hirna were the legitimate ride-hailing apps in Cebu.
There are three more TNVS that have a pending application for accreditation with the LTFRB-7, but Montealto said that due to DOTr’s moratorium, their operations remain pending.
He said inDriver, a Russia-based ride-hailing app, is not among the applicants to operate as TNVS.
He said despite the moratorium, inDriver continues to entice Cebuanos to use their private cars to earn income.
“It’s easy to use inDriver. All that a car owner can do is to register with the app and submit their documentary requirements through electronic transmission. It means that there is no human contact as what they have here is just a virtual office,” he added.
Montealto said inDriver has not been collecting a commission from the car owners, unlike the legitimate ride-hailing apps which have an established sharing-scheme.
He reiterated that private cars apprehended for colorum operation will be slapped with PHP120,000 penalty for sedan models and PHP200,000 for van and sports utility vehicles (SUV), aside from the mandatory 90-day impounding of the unit.
Impounded cars, he said, can be released earlier than 90 days but not earlier than 30 days, through a motion addressed to his office.
“We are quite sure that InDriver operators and drivers have not undergone the mandatory defensive driver training and the driver’s academy training of the LTFRB. They don’t also have passenger insurance,” Montealto added.
He also said that inDriver is not a safe transport system as it does not have the gadget to detect a vehicle’s location. “They can unscrupulously use it to kidnap anyone because you cannot trace them,” he said.
Last week, LTFRB-7 apprehended in three separate operations four private vehicles for ferrying passengers using the app. (PNA)