Eric Tipan / Migs Sagcal Twitter | November 12, 2014 06:52
Uber vehicles will be under the LTFRB franchising program
Uber is finally taking steps to fully legitimize its service based on the requirements from the Land Transportation and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC).
Offering commuters a ride-sharing service via a smartphone application, the LTFRB went after Uber partner vehicles for operating without a franchise. This caused a negative reaction from net-savvy Filipinos and eventually prompted the MMDA and Malacanang to push for a resolution between Uber and concerned government agencies.
After a sit-down meeting with transportation officials and members of Uber from the Philippines and Singapore, the decision has been made to include Uber partner vehicles in the agency’s ‘vehicles-for-hire’ category, which puts them directly under the jurisdiction of the LTFRB.
“Both sides came to the table to find concrete ways to make government regulations more in tune with today’s technologies. We all agreed on two things: first, Uber’s services are for the people’s benefit and, second, regulation is a must for public safety and order,” said Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya.
Uber will have to submit the names of partner drivers to the LTFRB for background checking and also provide the agency access to all partner vehicles for road-worthiness checkup.
For their part, the DOTC finds the Uber system quite revolutionary and is looking at ways to localize it and apply it to our transportation system. “Our taxi reform program, for instance, could adopt similar services such as centralized booking, passenger access to driver identities, and tracking systems for lost-and-found items,” said Abaya.