Wednesday, 18 October, 2017

Uber defies Philippine suspension order

In a press briefing LTFRB board member and spokesperson Aileen Lizada said the agency wants to ensure that TNCs will be able to protect the welfare of their TNVS partners Philippines suspends Uber operations for 1 month
Mae Harvey | 17 August, 2017, 13:54

Uber Technologies Inc resumed its services in the Philippines this week, defying a regulator's order that had suspended the ride-hailing firm's services for a month in the Southeast Asian nation.

Uber initially obeyed the order and shut down its app yesterday morning, triggering anger from commuters who lashed out at the government for taking away what had become a trusted alternative to notoriously bad public transport. This episode in the saga didn't last long either.

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has identified one as U-Go, whose service will reportedly be taxi-based.

Following the suspension of operations of Uber Systems, Inc., Grab Philippines has made a decision to lower its price cap on fare surges, citing increased demand for its services.

Uber recently said it had 67,000 drivers in the Philippines.

The complainants, describing themselves as the "national president and/or chairman of various transport organizations [representing] transport workers", alleged that Uber did not stop accepting applications of transport network vehicles despite LTFRB's order and its subsequent fine of P5 million.

"If I were working there, I would launch a campaign trying to grab as much (market share) as I could as quickly as possible", he said.

Past year the regulator suspended the acceptance and processing of applications for all ride-sharing services, including Uber, to study further how to regulate the industry.

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The senator expressed hope that the LTFRB can propose a new framework to institutionalize changes to improve transportation in the country.

"If there's been a misunderstanding in the past, that's on us and I apologise for that misunderstanding", said Michael Brown.

"This means that Uber's operations will continue until the motion is resolved", Uber said in a Facebook posting.

"This is not a fight; we just want to support TNCs that protect the public welfare", she said.

Uber's brief suspension in the Philippines on Tuesday prompted messages of frustration from many people on social media, who said Uber was better than other transportation options available in Manila, the country's sprawling capital.

Last month, 50,000 of Uber's and Grab's vehicles were nearly suspended since they lacked certificates of public conveyance to operate.

Uber issued an email to users informing them of the suspension, entitled "we'll be serving you again soon".

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