Philippines suspends Uber operations for 1 month

LTFRB upholds Uber suspension after motion for reconsideration

Uber appealed the order on Tuesday, and restarted its operations after briefly suspending it.

"If there was a misunderstanding on our part relative to the LTFRB's intention with their prior order, then that was our mistake", Uber regional executive Mike Brown told the press.

The government replied immediately, saying the suspension was still in force and threatening to arrest Uber drivers who violated it.

Previous 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.

The LTFRB, which has been criticized for curbing a service widely welcomed by commuters, said a new memorandum circular governing TNCs would be released next month.

Meanwhile, Sen. Bam Aquino who was with Poe during the informal meeting between LTFRB and Uber, said he had suggested that a fine could be imposed instead of suspending the ride-sharing app's operation.

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. It blamed "the current predicament" on Uber's "predatory actions".

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


"We will now review whether or not to renew (Uber's) accreditation just like any TNC, we will (look at its) performance", Lizada said.

American ride-sharing start-up Arcade City launched services in the Philipines on Wednesday, offering itself as an alternative to Uber but prompting an immediate regulatory crackdown. "We're here to respect the regulator and in this case, if there was a misunderstanding, I apologize".

Uber said the suspension order will affect its 66,000 TNVS partners and their one million active users.

The suspension led to an outpouring of anger by Filipinos on social media.

"The world over we need more people in less cars, simple as that", co-founder Chris Megan said in an e-mail.

"Over the course of this morning, tens of thousands of riders were left stranded, causing needless inconvenience, while drivers were unable to access the earning opportunities they rely on", Uber said.

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

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