Uber has received a massive boost to its Southeast Asian operations after the Philippine Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC) created a new category to allow the ride sharing service to operate legally in the country. The details are not yet finalised, but it looks like the Filipino government is ready to fully embrace Uber.
These regulations will require the Uber cars to be equipped with a GPS system for tracking, and cannot be older than seven years old. These cars will also need to be sedans, Asian Utility Vehicles, SUVs, or vans; no other cars will be allow to work as an Uber vehicle. Uber is also required to screen and accredit the drivers before accepting them as drivers.
Uber had been operating illegally in the country for the past year. This new category from the DoTC will make it possible for not only Uber to operate in the Philippines, but also allow other ride sharing services like Lyft to enter the country with no problems.
While this looks like an opportunity for ride sharing services to rush into the Philippines, Wired magazine has pointed out that Uber’s routing algorithm doesn’t work too well in the notoriously bad Filipino traffic. It should also be pointed out that Uber drivers in the Philippines work more like a taxi service with a single individual buying a fleet of cars and then hiring others to drive them.
Ride sharing has been facing massive issues with legislation in many countries. Passenger safety became a massive issue in India after an incident where an Uber driver raped his passenger; on the other hand, the Uber office in South Korea was raided for operating illegally. This news from Philippines may have been the one good piece of good news the company has had in a while.