A lawmaker has moved to regulate the operation of transportation network companies (TNCs) such as Uber and GrabCar to ?level the competition? in the transportation industry in the interest of the commuting public.
Valenzuela representative Sherwin T. Gatchalian has filed House Bill 6160 in the face of Department Order No. 2005-011 (DO No. 15-011) issued by the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) to modernize and improve transportation services.
Gatchalian said the DO intends to tap the innovative use of technology to facilitate ride-sharing services between a transportation network driver and a passenger. It allows transportation network companies to operate in the Philippines and facilitate transactions between a transportation network driver and a passenger. It also provides the guidelines for the selection and accreditation of drivers.
However, Gatchalian said the DO has faced heavy opposition since its promulgation. Taxi operators allege that it offers unfair competition in favor of TNCs and TNVs (transportation network vehicles) because they are not subject to the same regulation as that of taxis. Some congressmen also expressed their reservation citing issues on liability and tax collection.
“The bill seeks to address these questions by defining the nature of TNCs and TNVs. TNCs are classified as public utility vehicles and sets the contract of carriage from the time a passenger makes a pre-arranged ride with the TNC and ends when the passenger arrives at his/her destination,” Gatchalian said.
It also requires TNCs to “disclose their fare calculation method” in their application service or website as well as provide a picture of the driver and the vehicle’s plate number, Gatchalian added.
Under the bill, transportation network drivers are required to issue electronic receipts for passenger safety and taxation purposes.
The TNCs are likewise prohibited to accept drivers who have been convicted of reckless driving, driving without license or under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs and evading arrest or detention.
“It is our intention to ensure that regulation is not a hindrance, but continues to be the safety net that the public can rely on for its protection,” Gatchalian said.
Gatchalian said the emergence of TNVs provides commuters more choices in their daily commute.
“The additional competition in the transportation industry will compel existing taxi operators to improve their service in terms of convenience, safety and efficiency,” Gatchalian said.