Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Ano masama

Ang di ko maintindihan sa sumusuporta sa uber, bakit sinusuportahan ang uber sa pagtanggi nitong kumuha ng prankisa sa LTFRB. Pag kumuha ba ng prankisa ang mga sasakyan ng uber papangit na ba ang mga ito? Hindi na ba sila magiging convenient? Hindi mo na ba sila matatawagan gamit ang uber app?

Wala namang mababago sa serbisyo nila maliban sa magiging ligal na sila sa mata ng batas.  Ano ang masama sa ganito. Bakit may tumututol dito?

Uber naman

Comments on Dr. Cielito Habito's article Regulatory overreach 

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) is under fire from irate netizens following last week's sting operation that led to the apprehension of a private car owner hiring out rides under the Uber network. One news report described it as a case of government regulators trying to play catch-up with technology. I see it as a reason why we need to revisit restrictive laws and regulations designed for a bygone era, which technological developments have rendered obsolete if not outright counterproductive.

I agree with Dr. Habito, there is always a need to visit laws and regulations that may be obsolete.  I would like to read what he thinks are the obsolete regulations in play here.

I first heard about Uber nearly two years ago from US-based relatives, who are all raves about the service, as are those who are now up in arms here about the LTFRB's action. Described as a "ride-sharing" scheme, Uber puts car owners/drivers in touch with people who would be willing to pay them for a ride between pre-specified points in the city. It relies on a smartphone application to connect passengers with available participating drivers, who are carefully screened and regularly monitored. Fares are pre-agreed, payments are cashless (via credit card), and one can even track the hired car's location in real time. The service is now reportedly available in more than 100 cities in 45 countries worldwide. The LTFRB is similarly training its sights on homegrown Tripid, described as an open carpooling system that also uses the smartphone platform to connect riders with trip providers. What makes these services so popular is that they are widely seen as a convenient and safe way to travel.

The fact that they are popular and convenient for a lot of people does not invalidate the fact that they are operating for hire vehicles without LTFRB franchises.  It is also popular for people not to pay their taxes, we don't let them because that is detrimental to the state.

What particularly irks Uber fans is the LTFRB's insistence that it is merely trying to protect the welfare and safety of the riding public. To many, this comes as a big joke in light of the all-too-common experience with taxis refusing passengers, and the high incidence of crimes by or in connivance with taxi drivers. It is in fact these very risks with taxis that drives people to use Uber, Tripid and their variants. The LTFRB makes no secret of how its action was prompted by a complaint from the Philippine National Taxi Operators Association (PNTOA), unhappy about competition from what is increasingly seen by riders as a superior service. But neither the LTFRB nor PNTOA appears able to come up with a satisfactory way to police the ranks of the taxi industry to prevent such untoward incidents. So who is the LTFRB really protecting from whom?

The fact that some taxis' and PUV do not follow LTFRB rules and regulations does not necessarily mean that we should therefore not try to implement them.   If a lot of housing developers are not following the building code, does that mean that we should allow all developers not to follow the building code?

Even then, the issue is not unique to the Philippines. Uber, understandably, has met with similar protests from the taxi industry in other countries where it operates. The LTFRB recognizes that it has no jurisdiction over the Uber company itself, which does not directly provide transport services, but is a technology company "through whose application, private unlicensed vehicles are able to engage in public land transportation without securing a franchise from the LTFRB."

Yes, they meet with similar protests and similar difficulties because they also refuse to follow the rules and regulations in those countries. They refuse to get franchises for their for hire vehicles, giving them savings.  it may be that the uber model is the new way, but until the laws are changed, they should follow the rules and regulations of the country they are operating in.

Uber adherents counter that the LTFRB has no business meddling into private agreements between riders and trip providers, or in voluntary carpooling or ride-sharing among commuters, which are essentially what Uber and Tripid facilitate through their apps. "It's no different from one asking to be driven by a neighbor in his car to the airport for an agreed payment," argues a netizen, except that Uber makes it possible to find that ride well beyond one's neighborhood.

You know why uber is different from being driven by a neigbor in his car?  Because the uber drivers are not heir neighbors, they are not their friends,  they are strangers that you pay money to so they will drive you to a destination of your own choosing.

If the government has no business meddling with private agreements of riders and trip providers, then we should do away with the LTFRB entirely, because unless the for hire vehicle is owned by the government, everyone riding a PUV vehicle is in a private transaction with the driver/owner of the PUV.

Should there then be no regulation in the transport industry?  Should we not limit the drivers of PUV's to professional drivers?  Do we really want to abolish all regulations on for hire transportation?

And a "Big Brother" government may be going a bit too far to insist on watching out for the involved parties all the time, when they can well watch out for themselves in such bilateral transactions. Uber and the others in fact go a step further and help protect the transacting parties via a rigorous screening process on partner drivers, and through a user-driven rating system that helps weed out known bad performers on both sides.

How can a passenger adequately watch out for his interest when all the information is in the hands of uber?  This is an argument for self regulation,  but are we really going to trust for profit companies to keep the interest of their passengers in mind?

If government's concern is to tax such transactions, then Uber's cashless payments system makes it even easier to enforce a taxation mechanism not possible under informal cash-based neighbor-to-neighbor car hire or carpooling schemes. That should not be the concern of the LTFRB, however, but of the tax authorities.

The LTFRB has spelled out its position, that uber vehicles should register their vehicles a for hire vehicles to the LTFRB supporting the taxi companies position that not paying franchise fees give uber vehicles a competitive advantage over those that do.  That is the issue here.  

There's much wider significance to all this. There's such a thing as regulatory overreach, and the Uber issue, to my mind, is but one example. I have also argued before that there need not be such things as "colorum" cargo trucks. I don't see why government must have to issue franchises for a service that, like an Uber ride, amounts to a private bilateral contract, in this case between a cargo shipper and a truck owner (the same reasoning applies to cargo ships). With adequate competition—and a policy framework that fosters, not inhibits it, as franchising actually does—the market would ensure that satisfactory services are provided that are commensurate to fees paid. The less government pokes its nose unnecessarily into everybody's business, the livelier the economy becomes.

I do not trust the market as much as Dr. Habito does, without regulation, competition inevitably boils down to a  monopoly or an oligopoly.  Competition works,  our experience with the telecommunications industry proves that.  But, we are now down to 2 companies again.  We started with Piltel and Bayantel as a duopoly, competition from new telecommunications players, reduced prices and improved services.  But after 2 decades, we're back to a duopoly, and without the NTC, Globe and SMART would be increasing their prices as fast as the market would bear.

Legally defined, a "public utility," which by law requires a franchise, "provides a service or facility needed for present day living that cannot be denied to anyone willing to pay for it." Electric power, water or mass transport services are clear examples. But the US Supreme Court once stated, in a ruling that has shaped our own jurisprudence as well, that "a private enterprise doing business under private contracts with customers of its choice and therefore not devoted to public use" cannot be a public utility.

It's time that we revisited our official definition of public utilities, which is still guided by the archaic Public Service Act of 1936. Rapid technological developments demand it. And overall consumer welfare, along with our investment attractiveness, crucially hinges on it as well.

Yes, let us review the laws that govern the LTFRB,  but until the law is changed, people should follow the law.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Why Atheists Should Fight for Social Justice

Yes, Atheists Should Fight for Social Justice

I think this post by Ed Brayton makes a clear case for why atheists should fight for social justice.

"It should be entirely obvious that one of the damaging effects of religious belief is the denial of equal rights to women, to gay people and even to racial minorities. In all three cases, discriminatory policies are justified by the religious beliefs that atheist activists fight against. We cannot be effective in countering the negative effect of religion-based public policy (or more broadly, cultural norms and non-political societal structures) if we don't take up those fights for equality."

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Manila steals funds?

According to Mayor Leoncio Evasco of Maribojoc, Bohol.
"We all know that Mindanao produces as much as 60 percent of the gross domestic product but only about 40 percent returns to it in terms of services, Evasco said."
Saan ba nanggaling itong ideya na ito? Na sa Mindanao galing ang  60% ng GDP ng Pinas'.Kung tingnan mo yung GDP kada region.

PHILIPPINES 11,548,191,402
NCR 4,290,630,471
CORDILLERA 227,924,971
ILOCOS 359,706,535
CAGAYAN VALLEY 208,546,727
CENTRAL LUZON 1,018,224,367
CALABARZON 1,881,381,141
MIMAROPA 186,762,078
BICOL 240,303,496
DAVAO REGION 461,427,167
SOCCSKSARGEN 333,172,764
CARAGA 130,475,588
ARMM 101,091,392 

Mahigit doble ang GDP ng NCR kumpara sa buong Mindanao, at higit sa 1/3 ng buong Pilipinas. Samantalang sa budget ng gobyerno (  129 bilyon ang nakatalaga para sa NCR samantalang  mga 250 bilyon ang para sa Mindanao.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Kagandahang asal lang naman yon

If proven wrong, Trillanes willing to apologize to businessman tagged as Binay dummy

Hindi ko alam kung bakit parang malaking concession kay Senador Trillanes ang humingi ng tawad kung nagkamali siya. Hindi ba kagandahang asal lang ang humingi ng kapatawaran kung mali ka? Palagay ko naman itinuro ito sa kanya ng kanyang mga magulang.