A screengrab shared on Facebook Monday by multimedia motoring journalist James Deakin has gone viral. The screen grab that’s now driving the riding public nuts captured the conversation between an unnamed citizen and an officer for the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Citizen Enforcer.
The unnamed citizen raised the question in a private message on Facebook, “If I share a ride with friends or office mates, let’s say going to the office and he/she gives me money for gas or parking, am I considered colorum and subject to be fined like what you’re doing to Uber?” The LTFRB officer responded with a “Yes, sir” so came the follow-up question, “Pero pag di sila nagbayad ok lang? (But it’s ok if they don’t pay?)” The response, “Same thing po, sir.”
Netizens have since circulated the post which became another card to throw shade at the LTFRB. True to the Filipino’s penchant and knack for humor, many of the shared posts poked fun at how sharing, doing a good deed for others, carpooling or chipping in with the barkada on a road trip can now be considered a crime.
“This was not my screen grab,” Deakin clarified in his post. “It was sent to me by a few hundred people. I sent it directly to Atty. Lizada of the LTFRB. I’m still waiting for her official reply, but it looks like it’s true.” He then shared on another post a portion of his interview with the LTFRB Chairman Atty. Martin Delgra on CNN’s “The Service Road.”
The snippet started with Deakin reading out a question, “What’s the LTFRB’s latest position on Wunder, which is a true ride-sharing and non-profit app?”
Deakin: Is it? Is it a non-profit app?
LTFRB Chairman: I’m not sure about their being non-profit but if they’re operating as a TNC and which utilizes private vehicles and making use of these private vehicles as public utility vehicles then they’re operating colorum. They’re operating illegally. If I may say, we’re going to operate against them.
Deakin: Let’s just say if they didn’t charge for that?
LTFRB Chairman: Not a problem.
Deakin: It’s the charging part that changes the dynamic.
LTFRB Chairman: Precisely the second issue that I mentioned earlier. The pricing scheme is the issue.
Deakin: So once it starts charging it becomes an LTFRB thing, ok.
A netizen commented on Deakin’s post after forwarding the screen grab to LTFRB. He shared his own screen grab of their conversation wherein LTFRB replied, “Thanks for raising this to us. To clarify your concern, maaari po kayo magsakay sa inyong private car ng kamag anak, kaibigan at kaopisina as long as hindi magbabayad or magbibigay ng any means of payments regardless of the reason based on Public Service Act. (Thanks for raising this to us. To clarify your concern, your relatives, friends, and officemates may ride along in your private car as long as they won’t pay you by any means regardless of the reason based on Public Service Act.)”
Deakin then asked the netizen, “Did they offer an explanation as to why the LTFRB page answered like that?” The netizen replied, “It seems that this is one of their scripted responses as I’ve seen the exact same response being sent to other people.”