Go-Jek’s Philippine entry hits regulatory roadblock

Ilustrasi Gojek/ GO-JEK. REUTERS/Beawiharta

Ride-hailing giant Go-Jek has hit a roadblock in its plans to expand to the Philippines, after the country’s transportation authority rejected the company’s application citing an existing moratorium.

Local media reports said the Philippine Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) had put on hold Go-Jek’s application to enter the country as the  government had issued a moratorium on accrediting transport network company (TNC) last month.

“The moratorium came out before they filed their application for accreditation,” the office of LTFRB Chairman Martin B. Delgra III in said a message to reporters earier this week.

The LTFRB said it had met with representatives of Go-Jek in May to discuss the latter’s entry into Philippines following Uber’s exit from the market. It is understood that Go-Jek filed its application on August 13, oblivious of the memorandum that had been put in place just days earlier.

The LTFRB memorandum, which was signed on August 9, barred the government from accepting new applications for transport companies that intend to operate a in the country. The move, the board said, was part of an effort to closely monitor the existing licensed companies and identify those that required license renewal or evaluation.

The Philippines, along with Thailand and Singapore,  are among the four Southeast Asian countries Go-Jek has identified as their target markets for expansion.

Earlier this month, the company marked its first expansion outside of Indonesia when it held the soft launch of its Vietnam operations that has already been downloaded 1.5 million times in six weeks, and has seen 25,000 drivers have join the platform.

The Go-Viet will focus on motorcycle hailing and courier delivery services, even as the company plans to roll out other of Go-Jek’s services such as car-hailing, food delivery and e-money services.

To boost its international expansion plans, Go-Jek is reportedly in talks to raise at least $2 billion. The fresh capital will be much-needed ammunition for its overseas expansion.

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