Senate Bill No. 696: Rideshare Support Company Act

The rain is pouring heavily and commuters are muddled together under the shade. Taxi queues are long and winding yet taxis are nowhere in sight.

Those that decide to brave the rain in search for a cab ride are met with picky drivers or unreasonable contracted rates. To make matters worse, stories of robbery perpetrated by malicious taxi drivers, has left passengers with a justifiable fear and distrust of taxis.

In any industry, increased competition would often lead to improved quality, improved service, and lower prices for consumers. For the commuting public, this is a change they have long clamored for.

Recent technological innovations ushered in an era of ride sharing, giving commuters the option of securing convenient, safe, and affordable rides through internet-based applications.

The DOTC has already recognized these innovations “as a driver for progress” and as one of the solutions to “help address the increasing demand for mobility spurred by rapid urbanization.”

In support of these innovations, the DOTC issued a Memorandum Circular (MC) in 2015 to recognize these ride-sharing services under a new category called “Transportation Network Vehicle Service” and allowed them to operate within the agency’s existing regulatory framework.

While the release of the MC is a significant milestone for the promotion of ride-sharing services in the country, there is a need for legislation to create and institutionalize an appropriate regulatory framework for this new type of service and to distinguish it from public transport services.

The proposed bill clarifies the regulations governing Transportation Network Companies, referred to in the bill as “Rideshare Support Companies”, as well as Rideshare Network Drivers and Vehicles.

This measure seeks to promote and encourage new, affordable transportation options and ensure the safety of the riding the public by imposing safety and financial responsibility standards and requirements. 

In view of the foregoing, the approval of this bill is earnestly sought. 


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