UPDATE: August 16, 2014
Here's the ACTUAL Memo recalling the previous Memo
Please click the link below to see the actual TWEET!!
Finally! LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL!!
When I was told this - I was like, WHAT?! Are you serious?
We have green and white plates simply because it is PRIVATE! Yellow plates for private? Are you kidding? I remember when I was small that the distinguishing mark for a private vs a public vehicle is the color of their plate!
My dad told me a story that a truck of his friend got caught because it was not sporting a yellow plate. Also they were caught because the goods inside their trucks were not their 'real' products according to the enforcer! And you know how much the fine is? P200,000.00 !!! Yes - it was THAT much!! This alarmed me and made me really curious on the topic. I began googling 'Private Trucks Yellow Plates' - but to no avail - there was no ONE news that talked about it. There were forum topics but not one addressed to this one topic. It was very vague to be honest.
This morning, I was presented an advisory in the newspaper entitled ADVISORY TO ALL TRUCKS-FOR-HIRE. It was honestly very clear - but what struck me was the story that my dad told us last week. So I did my own research and snooping - I called the hotline printed on the advisory, I got through and this was how the conversation went:
Me: I'd like to inquire if PRIVATE trucks need to apply for the franchise
Agent: Yes ma'am, they need to
Me: Even if the truck is privately owned and private used for the company's delivery of its products?
Agent: Yes, po
Me: Eh nakalagay sa truck namin NOT FOR HIRE, and hindi naman namin pinaparenta
Agent: Ma'am, ang nakalagay sa Memorandum Circular 2014-008 is ALL FREIGHT TRUCKS
Me: Can you define what FRIEGHT TRUCKS mean?
Agent: Lahat po ng sasakyan na may dalang kargamento
Me: Sigurado ka?
Agent: Yes, mam!
With this conversation with the agent - I was told to GET A FRANCHISE. Honestly, I am NOT convinced. So I called the office of the DOTC secretary - I spoke to a nice lady named Virgie. I told her my concern and she was apologetic because she didn't know what the answer to my concern was - she then gave me the number of Usec. Lopez; that handles operations - that I look for Ms. Chona. I then called Chona and she said that Usec. Lopez was out in a meeting - that she can't help me. She then gave me another number, the number of Dir. Natividad who also handles operation. I called that number and was able to speak to Maan. She was really nice because she took my call. I have to say - I am very much impressed with how Maan handled the call. She took in all the details and was helpful in pointing me to the right direction. She told me to call the LTFRB hotline because they were the ones who know better. So I tried calling the numbers that she gave - unfortunately (as I had experienced before) the phone was just ringing and no one was answering. (I can supply you with all the numbers, just shoot me an email!)
I then decided to TWEET the LTFRB_CHAIRMAN - to test if I would get a reply. I checked on his last tweet and it was quite a while ago. But I took my chances - malay mo diba? I got shocked when I got a reply! Hahaha.. And here is what we tweeted to one another, I'm sorry but this is what I captured. I don't understand too why it's not organized. Weird!
So that's how it went. I'm sorry its a bit confusing - but I'm sure you get the gist of the conversation. Twitter has this sort of ewan for chronological order of conversation that I don't understand. Anyway - according to the LTFRB_CHAIRMAN twitter account - private vehicles DO NOT NEED to get the franchise/CPCs.
After calling and calling for almost an hour - I finally got on the phone with Warren. I relayed to Warren my issue and he said that Maan was able to discuss it to him this morning. Aba! Efficient nga talaga si Maan! He said that he understood my concern that PRIVATE trucks need not get the franchise license BUT according to his superior Ms. Lilian Coloma - we SHOULD JUST GET IT, JUST TO BE SAFE. What?! Just to be safe? I then asked him - was it NEEDED or not replied with 'Ma'am apply nalang po kayo para hindi po kayo masita ng ibang entities' What are those other entities? There's the MMDA, PNP and etc. Waaaaah!! He also shared that the new price is ONLY for the LTO and LTFRB - as for the other entities, their current rates still remain! Ano ba ito?! Yes, that is what ran through my head the entire conversation. There is no ONE entity that can be followed - its every man/entity for themselves! Free for all! Napakalaking WTF?! Yes, this is OUR government, this is the Philippine Government! He understood where I was coming from but based on his superior - that was the only thing he can recommend. I had to put down the phone because the conversation was leading nowhere.
I called Maan to relay to her that I was able to get through and speak to Warren, but she wasn't around. I spoke to Krisha and also told her the entire story. I told her that if I were to choose, I would believe the tweet that I got from the LTFRB_CHAIRMAN because it says that private trucks need NOT get a franchise. But I was doubtful of its veracity since most twitter accounts are handled by 'secretaries'. I then told her to just relay to Maan what happened and that I asked for a call back. I got a call right after, it was still Krisha and she told me that the twitter account of LTFRB_CHAIRMAN was really the chairman himself answering tweets! I was dubious, but she said that Chairman Ginez is very active is social media - and that we has the one who replied to my tweets. So I guess, I will quote Chairman Ginez on his tweet! I hurriedly screen captured it - it might get deleted you know!! Krisha told me to make a formal letter of clarification - so that they can relay to their bosses. And so I sent one through email. Let's see how long it takes to get a reply of some sort.
I have to say - I am most impressed with Maan and Krisha and how they handled the call and how well they conversed with me. Their english is very good, they were warm and they understood what I was telling them. I did not need to repeat myself. For once, I got to speak to a government employee that has very good listening skills! I am very happy with that.
So there, I am sharing with you my plight. I think most private companies have this same question hovering over their heads for a while now. Even if there is a 30-day suspension - we still need to be clarified on this matter because securing all those documents? Gosh - they take time and have their corresponding fees too! So, if we can save some dough and time - why not, diba?
As of August 8, 2014 - I have not heard from the LTFRB Chairman on anything. I sent my letter through DOTC but I guess it has fell on deaf ears. Anyways, I was listening to the radio and the MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino was the guest of DZMM's Pasada 630 - he mentioned that he has been in the talks with Chairman Ginez about the NOT-FOR-HIRE trucks. He was explaining that small businesses - not engaging in a truck-for-hire scheme, should not be even asked to apply for an EXEMPTION - simply because they are engaged in another type of business! Why should these businesses be hassled to submit their SEC papers, DTI papers and charged a fee for something that they are not engaged in. He has a very good point - because he said - that this particular exemption is up for abuse! Some companies may apply for this exemption (since its cheaper) than get a real francise!
Politics and miscommunication - hay! Shouldn't they have stales about these things before releasing the implementation? Who approved of such? Sigh.. Dito talaga sa Pinas - hilahan pababa - at pataasan ng ihi. Sheesh!