MANLA — The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) is set to publish new categories of public transport conveyances to allow app-based services to operate in the country later this week.
DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said that this development is an effort to modernize transportation services and usher in the conveniences offered by technological innovation.
Under the Transportation Network Vehicle Service (TNVS) classification, DOTC will allow app-based services offered by Transportation Network Companies (TNC) to exist within our regulatory framework.
Abaya has earlier called for collaborative efforts between DOTC, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), and TNCs to formulate updated classification policies.
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 also provide the public with online-enabled transportation services known as a TNVS, which will connect drivers with ride-seekers through an app.
Abaya said that many people appreciate the safe and convenient services offered by the TNVS category.
“We view technological innovation as a driver for progress, especially in transportation where it can provide safer and more convenient commuting options to the public,” Abaya said.
“App-based transport services help address the increasing demand for mobility spurred by rapid urbanization,” he added.
Furthermore, DOTC is also imposing certain standards for vehicle eligibility, such as the requirement of global positioning system (GPS) tracking and navigation devices for convenient and safer services.
DOTC noted that only sedans, Asian Utility Vehicles (AUV), Sports Utility Vehicles (SUV), vans, or other similar vehicles will be allowed. A maximum age limit of seven years will be enforced.
Operators will be required to obtain a Certificate of Public Convenience (CPC) for every vehicle to ensure accountability.
To promote passenger safety, drivers must be screened and accredited by the TNCs and registered with the LTFRB.