DOTC sets new categories for app-based rides

(CNN Philippines) — The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) is set to announce this week new categories governing the operation of app-based transportation services.

According DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya, the department sees technological advancements as "drivers for progress" as they can provide commuters with better transportation options.

"App-based transport services help address the increasing demand for mobility spurred by rapid urbanization," he said in a statement issued on Monday (May 11).

Vehicles for hire offered via apps by Transportation Network Companies will fall under the Transport Network Vehicle Service (TNVS) classification, he said.

The DOTC added operators will have to secure a certificate of public convenience for each vehicle that will fall under the classification.

Likewise, drivers must be screened and accredited by the TNC and registered with the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board.

The DOTC will also impose standards for vehicles to meet, like the presence of GPS tracking and navigation devices.

It added that only Asian utility vehicles, sedans, sports utility vehicles, vans, and other similar vehicles not over seven years old will be allowed.

A new classification for premium taxi services is also being created.

Abaya said this move is being made "to motivate other public utility vehicle operators to modernize, upgrade, and innovate their services for the benefit of the public."