The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) has legalised the operation of app-based transportation services such as Uber everywhere in the country.
With the development of countrywide ride-hailing regulations, the Philippines becomes the first nation to introduce legal provisions. The department is yet to release more details about the new rules this week.
DOTC secretary Jun Abaya said: “App-based transport services help address the increasing demand for mobility spurred by rapid urbanization.”
Although the specific rules and regulations have not been finalised, the DOTC requires cars to have a GPS system. These vehicles must be AUVs, SUVs, vans or sedans and can’t be more than seven years old.
The operators must get certificates for each vehicle to operate on the service. Meanwhile, drivers must undergo screening to get accreditation from ride-hailing services. Moreover, drivers are required to be registered with the local transportation regulatory board.
Facing Challenges in the Philippines
In 2014, Uber launched its services in the country. Many of its clients claim Uber’s service is cheaper and more convenient compared to other local taxi services.
Facing regulatory resistance across the globe, Uber has also encountered several challenges in the country. Manila’s traffic, which ranked among the top ten worst in the world, doesn’t work well with the company’s routing algorithm. A writer noted that Uber’s operators serve as middleman on top of the company itself since it purchases small fleet of vehicles and hire individual drivers. As a result, the drivers’ salaries often suffer in order for operators to break even.
Despite these challenges, the new set of rules to be implemented by DOTC will ultimately benefit Uber and other tech companies.
“We are pleased to have collaborated closely with Uber and other tech companies in crafting regulations for a new class of public utility vehicles,” Abaya said.