DOTC welcomes Uber solution for taxi reform

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TRANSPORTATION regulations should facilitate convenient, safe, and reliable services to the public, not hamper them.

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This is the view of Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) in relation to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board’s (LTFRB) recent anti-colorum efforts against vehicles operating through the local Uber app.

Uber is a ridesharing service that connects commuters using a mobile application with private vehicles for hire.

“I have asked the LTFRB to reach out to Uber and seek ways to modernize our transportation rules. While the LTFRB was only doing its job in implementing the law, we also have a duty to push for modern solutions to archaic problems,” Abaya said.

“I view our role in the DOTC as one that is supportive of new approaches to addressing transportation inadequacies. Regulations must keep up with fast-paced technological innovations, and one way to do that is to amend antiquated laws or policies which may no longer be responsive to today’s needs,” he added.

Abaya and LTFRB officials will meet with Uber officers soon in an effort to modernize government’s regulatory function over vehicles for public use, in such a way that innovative solutions will be allowed to flourish without sacrificing safety and security oversight functions.

“We welcome the solutions made possible by technology in helping us meet the public’s needs. At the same time, we recognize the LTFRB for sticking to the law and performing its duties without fear or favor.

Now, government must work together with innovators from the tech industry for the benefit of the people. Hopefully, we can integrate these solutions into the DOTC’s taxi reform program,” he said.

Abaya assures IT developers that the DOTC will continue to support technology-based solutions for transportation.

The agency has active Open Data efforts to release useful transport information to the public primarily through web-based platforms. It has also made possible the creation of more than a dozen trip-planning apps through the Philippine Transit App Challenge.

Along with the LTFRB, the DOTC continues to push for the use of GPS systems, CCTVs, and other technologies to improve the safety, convenience, and reliability of public utility buses and other PUVs.

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