The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has junked the application of Indonesian-based ride-hailing firm Go-Jek as a transportation network company (TNC) in the country due to non-compliance with the nationality requirements set by the Philippine Constitution.
In a statement on Friday, March 22, LTFRB chairman Martin Delgra III said Go Jek’s local subsidiary, Velox Philippines, violated the provision under the 1987 Constitution, which states that companies in the country should be 60-percent owned by Filipinos.
“We need to follow the 60-40 requirement of the law for TNCs to operate in the country,” Delgra said.
The agency affirmed the decision of its pre-accreditation committee, which denied the application of Velox Philippines.
The committee noted that only 20.4 percent of the 1.2 billion common shares of Velox Philippines’ parent company, Velox South-East Asia Holdings Pte. Ltd., was actually sold to local shareholder Pace Crimson Ventures Corporation (PCVC) based on its “Deed of Absolute Sale of Shares of Stock”.
The LTFRB said Velox Philippines has failed to show proof of payment of its capital gains tax on the shares allegedly sold, and proof of payment of shares allegedly subscribed by the PCVC under its subscription agreement.
The Department of Transportation (DOTr), meanwhile, said it did not interfere in the accreditation process of Go-Jek.
“The DOTr does not intervene with the decision of the LTFRB during that phase of deliberation. If Velox Philippines wishes to appeal, they can do so before the DOTr, through the Franchising Review Staff,” DOTr undersecretary for road transport Mark de Leon said.
Go-Jek is a technology start-up firm based in Jakarta, Indonesia that specializes in ride-hailing and logistics. It currently operates in Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore and Thailand.
The company, which counts Google and Singaporean sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings among its investors, has been expanding in Southeast Asia to compete with Grab, which took over the regional businesses of Uber Technologies last year. — Aerol John Pateña (PNA)