Ride sharing, ride hailing, ride sourcing – these technology-based services have gained much traction in the global transport market over the past decade. Fueled by the growing need for personal mobility due to rising urbanization and worsening traffic in many cities worldwide, the rideshare market is projected to reach $218 billion by 2025.
San Francisco-based firm Sidecar pioneered the rideshare concept allowing a passenger to request a vehicle and driver using mobile apps and GPS navigation devices. In 2013, the California Public Utilities Commission created a new category of service known as transportation network companies (TNCs).
In the 2010s, Uber and Lyft became the dominant TNCs in America, while Grab cornered a huge chunk of the Southeast Asian rideshare market after acquiring Uber’s regional operations. In 2015, the Philippines became the first country in the world to issue rules for TNCs.
That same year, Singaporean entrepreneur Angeline Tham conceptualized a motorcycle-based rideshare and delivery service for the Philippines called Angkas which she launched in 2016, initially operating in Metro Manila and Metro Cebu.
Since then, Angkas has been involved in controversies and run-ins with government regulators. Its more than 20,000 drivers have also earned the ire of the car-riding public for aggravating traffic congestion as they weave in and out of road lanes recklessly, thus resulting into accidents.
But the real-time convenience and safety provided by TNCs far outweigh the inconveniences especially among millennials, who are less inclined to purchase cars because of concomitant problems such as lack of parking space and the ever-unsolvable traffic situation.
Now comes ParaHero, a tricycle-hailing service for barangays and residential villages. Its app-based solution is currently being piloted at BF Homes in Paranaque City and Project 4 in Quezon City.
According to ParaHero founder Nino Jesus Duque, the brand is a portmanteau of the Filipino words “para” and “pasahero” respectively meaning “for” and “passenger.”
In essence, ParaHero is an advocate for the Filipino passenger. It primarily addresses the desire of commuters to be fetched and dropped off right at their very doorsteps.
Duque said ParaHero is also giving tricycle drivers more opportunities for better earnings without having to waste fuel and time looking for potential passengers. He envisions the service to evolve into an integrated hailing app connecting passengers to all forms of commercial transport drivers, merchants, and businesses. “ParaHero will empower Filipinos to be heroes in their daily lives,” he declared.
ECONOMIC IMPACT OF NCOV
The Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Inc. (FFCCCII) remains optimistic that the country’s GDP growth rate would be ranging from 6.5% to 7.5% in 2020. This, despite the uncertainties caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus (nCoV) now besieging the world’s second biggest economy, China.
FFCCCII President Dr. Henry Lim Bon Liong appealed to the public to remain calm and vigilant; cooperate with government authorities; promote health and good hygiene practices; uphold social peace and stability; refrain from spreading unverified information or fake news; and avoid any racist defamations harmful to society.
Lim said: “We hope this nCoV problem of China and the world shall end soon like the previous SARS problem of 2003. Then the economies of Asia shall surely recover again fast. Many entrepreneurs of the Filipino Chinese community have faith in the vast potentials and resilience of the Philippine economy, and we shall continue to invest and reinvest due to the country’s good long-term potentials, regardless of this hopefully short-term problem. Filipino Chinese entrepreneurs are long-term investors and our community has patiently weathered centuries of ups and downs.”
Meanwhile, the FFCCCII is urging Congress to quickly pass the pending Corporate Income Tax and Incentives Rationalization Act or CITIRA. The proposed bill will bring down corporate income taxes to 20% from the existing 30%, thus making the Philippines more attractive to both local and foreign investors.