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MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) announced on Sunday, May 10, that it will publish new categories of public transport conveyances to allow app-based services like Uber and GrabCar to operate in the country.
The new categories, expected to be published later this week, are an effort to modernize transportation services, and usher in the conveniences offered by technological innovation especially with increasing demand for these services, the DOTC said (READ: Taxis beware: Gov’t introduces 4 new transport categories).
“The Transportation Network Vehicle Service (TNVS) classification will allow app-based services offered by Transportation Network Companies (TNC) to exist within our regulatory framework,” said DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio “Jun” Abaya.
The new classification is the fruit of collaborative efforts between the DOTC, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), and TNCs a few months ago to formulate updated classification policies.
Under the new classification, a TNC is defined as an organization that provides pre-arranged transportation services for compensation using an Internet-based technology application or a digital platform technology to connect passengers with drivers using their personal vehicles.
TNCs will provide the public with online-enabled transportation services known as a TNVS, which will connect drivers with ride-seekers through an app.
A new classification is also being created for Premium Taxis, which compared to regular taxis, will have the advantage of being equipped with global positioning system (GPS), of having online and smartphone booking capability, a 7-year age limit, and transactions using credit or debit cards.
“Many people appreciate the safe and convenient services offered by the TNVS category. We want this to motivate other public utility vehicle operators to modernize, upgrade, and innovate their services for the benefit of the public,” Abaya said.
The DOTC is imposing certain standards for vehicle eligibility under the new TNVS classification like the requirement of GPS tracking and navigation devices for convenience and safety.
Only sedans, Asian Utility Vehicles (AUV), Sports Utility Vehicles (SUV), vans, or other similar vehicles will be allowed and a maximum age limit of 7 years will be enforced.
Operators will be required to obtain a Certificate of Public Convenience (CPC) for every vehicle. Drivers must also be screened and accredited by the TNCs and registered with the LTFRB. – Rappler.com