THE Department of Transportation (DoTr) wants to allow hatchbacks in ride-sharing services.

In a statement on Thursday, the agency said the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) should review its rules to accommodate hatchbacks.

“In bigger metropolitan areas like London and Tokyo, hatchbacks are allowed to operate as public transport,” the agency said. “If first-world countries and cities allow it, why can’t we?” it added, noting that these vehicles are more fuel-efficient.

Under present rules, hatchback units may operate as transport network vehicles within a transition period of three years, ply only within Metro Manila and charge a lower fare.

Hatchback Community, a group of around 1,000 member drivers, earlier said applications for a permit were being ignored by the LTFRB because of safety concerns.

Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade in the statement ordered the LTFRB to respect present rules until the policy is amended. — Denise A. Valdez