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Uber Manila hires PWD drivers

Uber Manila yesterday launched a program that fully supports the giving of income generating opportunities to Pinoys with disabilities. Uber Manila’s program already includes certain partner-drivers who claim to be hard of hearing but not totally deaf. These drivers spoke to the media of the benefits of the income they have made from being a partner-driver using their own vehicles. Uber clearly identifies which drivers are disabled by showing a PWD icon on their profiles and it will be the choice of the passenger to ride with them or not.

Yes it’s a good move, but…

In 2009, the World Federation of the Deaf made a statement on the right of deaf to drive a car or any other vehicle.


We at support this statement and that Pinoys with Disabilities should be given the right to drive a motor vehicle. While there have been no studies proving that deaf drivers are more prone to accidents than normal-hearing drivers, it has been well-established in many studies that sound is not a primary consideration when driving a motor vehicle. The most crucial sense to driving is the sense of sight and the sense of touch. While hearing can be complimentary, it is not as crucial as sight. That is why we can still drive safely even while the radio is at high volume. We also believe that many of our disabled brothers and sisters are already marginalized as it is and giving them opportunities for mobility would be more than welcome.

How is Uber Manila ready for the PWD partner-driver?

However, PWDs have rights too. Such as the VAT exemption, exemption from coding, premium and reserved parking space near ramps and building entrances and tax relief. How Uber Manila intends to address these issues and ensure that the deaf drivers are given their due, CEO Laurence Cua did not say. Yes, they have technologies that will assist the driver such as the Beethoven technology where calling is automatically disabled if you are trying to contact a PWD driver. There is also the question of protection for the PWD driver as many PWDs are subject to ridicule and humiliation. Uber Manila also made no mention of how they can protect their PWD partner-drivers during these instances. They did mention the need to educate riders on discriminating against a PWD driver, but there is also the rider’s right to choose, and that may be misconstrued as discrimination.  In my opinion, educating the public about the safety of riding with deaf drivers should have been done prior to the launching of this program to increase its acceptance by the public. Pushing something like this to the consumer without a prior education campaign may become the source of several issues. Though many Uber PWD drivers are lauded and given high ratings for their safe driving style, courtesy and good service, it will not save the deaf drivers from undereducated and abusive riders. Training the deaf drivers on how to handle such situations should be in place as well.

Is the program legal in the Philippines?

And there is the question of legality. In Europe and in the US, deaf drivers are allowed to drive commercial vehicles, such as buses, cabs and cargo trucks. While deaf drivers are given licenses to drive in the Philippines, a check with the Land Transportation Office confirmed that deaf drivers here are only given a Non-Professional driver’s license with the restriction code clearly mentioning which type of vehicle the deaf driver is allowed to drive and under which condition the deaf driver is licensed. The Land Transportation Office customer hotline mentioned that there is condition E which means the deaf driver is allowed to drive but only when accompanied by a person of normal hearing. Discrimination? Maybe, maybe not, but it is the law. Deaf drivers are NOT given Professional Driver’s Licenses.

So if the deaf driver’s main line of work is driving for pay, there could be a legal issue with this program by Uber Manila, because deaf drivers, by law, are not allowed to drive commercially.

What do you think?



  1. Elyse Go Elyse Go

    I’ve experienced Deaf drivers who are far more disciplined than hearing drivers. Their being Deaf allow them to be less distracted, focused and alert.

  2. Hello. My nickname is Jay. I am Deaf and founder of JaySunico Productions. I can drive since 24 years. I have a car. I have non-professional driving license. I noticed most hearing people who are lacking disciplined unlike me. I always following rule and respect people who walk cross in the street. I hope they hired Deaf driver as Uber who are real skill, talent and good behavior.

  3. Hello!! I am Dennis S. Uy. Yes I am deaf and I’ve experienced driving since 28 years from now. I have driver license non-professional and also international driving permit. I always following the driving rules.

    • Melvin Carino Melvin Carino

      Im an uber rider. Im not so sure if i want to ride with a driver who cannot hear very well. Its ok for me if he is my friend and he asked to ride with him in his car. But its different if i am paying for my ride. Nagbabayad kasi ako kaya gusto ko safe ako. Kung deaf yung driver ng isang P2P bus parang mahirap yun kasi mahaba ang bus at hindi nya nakikita, kaya nga yung mga kotse may back up sound para maga alarm yun pag malapit na bumangga kung umaatras ka. Ayoko mag discriminate kasi mama ko naka wheelchair at bingi din, pero tanggapin din sana natin na hindi discrimination yung umayaw kaming sumakay sa driver na hindi ako marinig. Sorry pero ayoko maaksidente, may 2 akong anak na nagaaral.

  4. I just wanna ask because my brother has some dissabilities wherein, he lost his 3 fingers. In that case, it’s very hard for him to find a job. what will be the possible job oppurtunities for him? Is there any? Thank you!

  5. genevie estella genevie estella

    Please u help me…..

  6. Hello.I am Deaf,My name Nick Owen T.Cadiz.I was experince my driver used the motorcycle since 14 years.i has license card non-professional and three years expried – four times use id card license for driver.last june 08,2016 My elder sister and i went Land Transportion Office and renewal for license driver but requure about test drug for urine,test eyes and medical certificate.LTO office chief call me cant hear my name so my elder sister interpreter for me about require all complete but how my ears cant hear sound for traffic and horn vechile.She say him that her deaf brother cant hear but Chief say important about Aid hearing ears for drive..Now LTO Office cheif got strict to dont allow driver for both Deaf and Disable.Chief pay refund all 650.00 gave me..250p medical and 400p test drug for urine and fee all 650.i was frustration this leave my license drive id in LTO office.i live in where Bohol..why some deaf proud use driver and nothing license?????.Thank you.

  7. Dante Dante

    One of the issue here is not that deaf drivers are not following the rules but are not allowed or illegal to drive professionally.

    Individuals that have professional drivers licence are allowed to drive professionally.

  8. Hi! I’m hearing disability and hearing speak ..
    May name Jason C. Roquim.. I have skills car driver .. I want to apply UBER please .. Help me help me ..

  9. Antoni Antoni

    How about lame drivers.. Is it ok to apply a uber driver..

  10. Jeffrey aglipay Jeffrey aglipay

    Hello! I’m deaf hard of hearing can speak Tagalog and English my I’d driver license is professional I passed examination LTO 35years ago im turning 58years old now use my car and motorcycle thanks to uber company accepted me to work I’m so excited driving I hope some deaf pwd can drive uber company

  11. Hello im deaf hard of hearing can speak tagalog and english my id driver license professional i passed LTO examination 35years ago im turning to 58 years old now i hope some deaf pwd people soon accept working in uber driver thanks to uber company i start working 1 weeks now….

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