LTFRB-SMART Monopoly in Davao by Bernie Lopez

Duterte Helpless to Rescue Riding Public?

Davao City commuters are up in arms over an LTFRB-SMART monopoly, complaining that President Rodrigo Duterte and Davao City Mayor Duterte are helpless to rescue them. Their protests in Davao print-radio-social media were simply ignored. The Land Transportation & Franchising Regulatory Board, instead of regulating and servicing, is going into business for itself. It is inducing monopoly which will yield run-away fares.


According to Davao taxi drivers interviewed, LTFRB has created HIRNA, its own GRAB-type service in partnership with SMART, which taxis are obliged to join. Result, taxi rates have increased. Ultimate victims are riders and drivers for higher meter and boundary rates. Ultimate beneficiaries are LTFRB and SMART in the billions per year, and operators. LTFRB’s reply is yan ang batas (that’s the law). Riders argue that this is not true, claiming people were hired to legalize the monopoly deal on the local level.


The LTFRB is presently getting a windfall in handling the UBER-GRAB-TAXI dilemma. They have increased franchise fees to the high heavens charged to the riding public. They have catered to power politicians behind the taxi industry. LTFRB’s mandate is to service the riding public, not make a lot of money for itself, and induce monopoly. But there are many new players emerging and the monopoly will die.

Bongbong Marcos paid more than P80 million to file his election protest. Where did the money come from? Why is there no hidden wealth probe? Government agencies of course fear pro-Marcos Duterte, but how about the opposition or the public? What happened to the gold and money FM smuggled out of the country? Are they back to put his son to power?

Updated: 2018-04-27 — 04:59:07