Photo illustration of logo of car-sharing service app Uber on a smartphone over a reserved lane for taxis in a street in MadridBy Neil Jerome Morales MANILA (Reuters) – The Philippines issued new rules for ride-sharing services such as Uber on Wednesday, becoming the first country to regulate specifically for such app-based car-hailing operations and prompting threats of legal action from the taxi industry. Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said such services were needed due to the lack of adequate mass transport in Manila, Southeast Asia’s second most congested city after Jakarta according to research firm Numbeo. “We should not see it as something that will damage the old taxi industry, but merely to offer better services and compel them to modernize and innovate,” Abaya said at a briefing this week ahead of the launch of the regulations. It uses technology to connect private citizens using their own cars with customers seeking a ride, to the ire of traditional taxi operators who say its drivers do not have to pay license fees or comply with local regulations.