By Denise A. Valdez, July 23 2019; Business World

Image Credit to GrabPH/Business World

REGULATORS will clear hatchback and subcompact cars to operate legally as part of the ride-sharing fleet.

The Department of Transportation (DoTr) issued Department Order No. 2019-013 yesterday, which ruled that these types of car can register for the transport network vehicle service (TNVS) category.

TNVS-registered vehicles make up the fleet accredited by ride-sharing platforms such as Grab Philippines (MyTaxi.PH, Inc.).

The DoTr said the policy aims to “further promote mobility and recognize new forms of transport vehicles that can help address the large demand for transport services.”

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) initially set restrictions on hatchbacks in ride-sharing due to safety concerns.

The restrictions are that hatchbacks may only operate as TNVS within a transition period of three years, may serve Metro Manila destinations and must charge a lower fare.

With the new policy from DoTr, hatchbacks and subcompacts are allowed to charge fares as authorized by the LTFRB for other TNVS units such as sedans, wagons, sport utility vehicles (SUVs), and vans.

The order will be effective as soon as it is published at the University of the Philippines Law Center. Transportation Assistant Secretary for Communications Goddes Hope O. Libiran said this is scheduled to be done within the week.

The LTFRB is also required to come up with a memorandum circular indicating further details of the policy within 30 days from its issuance. — Denise A. Valdez