In furtherance of its overseas expansion, Go-Jek, Indonesian ride-hailing unicorn, just took another step to venture into the Philippines, setting up a local affiliate Velox Technology Philippines, and filing for an application for a provisional permit to operate in the country, according to a report by Entrepreneur Philippines citing Aileen Lizada, an official with the country’s Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).
Lizada a LTFRB board member, alerted by Go-Jek’s move, told local media that she organized an inspection on the Go-Jek affiliate’s office, only to find out, according to her, that “… they have virtual employees. There are no employees of Go-Jek there”.
Lizada has previously expressed her apprehension around allowing Go-Jek’s plans to launch its services in the Philippines, according to the Manila Times in May.
She noted the foreign firm “is big”, and said that the board will need to protect local companies. These accredited home-grown ride-hailing companies include GoLag, HirNa, Hype, MiCab, OWTO, and U-Hop.
As of June 2018, the Philippines’ Department of Transport ruled ride-hailing and sharing services as “public utilities” and that they “are subject to the full regulation and supervision” by the LTFRB, according to the order. This means that among other things, the board can set the fare rates for rides.