Uber Sorry for Philippines 'Misunderstanding', but Suspension Stands

Lucy Hill
August 17, 2017

Uber has suspended its services in Philippines after the national regulator banned it from operating for one month.

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. Although it did not give an explicit reason at the time, the move followed Uber's alleged failure to stop registering new drivers, as ordered by the regulator.

Senator Grace Poe, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Public Services, said Uber's offer was "very generous", but when pressed for an amount, she said it was definitely bigger than the P5 million it paid in July. This episode in the saga didn't last long either.

"The details still need to be worked out, but we are very willing to work with the LTFRB", Brown said.

A five-page suspension order of the regulator made available on Tuesday said it was due to the "irresponsible" behavior of Uber in "unduly challenging the limit of fair regulation" by continuing to accept driver applications.

The regulator said that while Grab respected the order, Uber continued to ignore it, resulting in the suspension.

The app was first launched in Austin, Texas, a year ago after the withdrawal of Uber and Lyft in the city.

Transport authorities require Uber to get permits for its drivers and vehicles, in the same way taxi companies must.

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"Operating more than 50,000 colorum vehicles sets a unsafe precedent, and if not stopped would wreck [sic] havoc to the country's transport plans and programs, specifically the Modernization Program, which aims to enhance transport service and uplift the lives of transport workers", it said.

LTFRB on Monday suspended operations of Uber.

In the wake of Uber's suspension, rival Grab Philippines said it had set a 1.4x surge cap in the wake of increased demand.

LTFRB has scheduled the hearing on the new appeal next week, August 23.

"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.

"I know that they're popular, that's why we want them to be back on the streets as soon as possible".

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

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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