Uber vows to comply with LTFRB regulations

MANILA — Ride-hailing service Uber vowed to comply with the regulations of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), a senator said Wednesday.

“Next time, susunod na sila, kasi naging habit na na di sila sumusunod (Next time, they’ll follow the rules because it has become a habit for them not to follow it),” Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito told reporters in an interview.

Ejercito made this statement on the sidelines of the closed-door meeting between representatives of the LTFRB and Uber in the Senate led by Senator Grace Poe, chair of the Senate Committee on Public Services.

The senator pointed out that although Uber was “in-demand” by passengers, it is not an excuse to defy government regulations. He said that penalties will still have to be meted out.

“I know that they’re popular, that’s why we want them to be back on the streets as soon as possible. We just made it clear that we want the interest of the riding public as a priority,” he added.

Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino IV, in a statement, said that instead of a suspension, the LTFRB should only implement a fine as it would not affect daily operations.

“Halting operations of Uber will only hurt the drivers and the riding public. A monetary penalty will give us the same result without having to hassle our commuters,” he said.

Aquino also said that it was brought up in the meeting that Uber should compensate drivers for the days that they will not be able to use their vehicles.

He said that it was also agreed that a new regulatory framework needs to be developed, not just for ridesharing services but also to improve our taxi fleets and their ability to serve the riding public and compensate drivers.

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

In the same meeting, Uber Technologies Southeast Asia manager Michael Brown apologized to LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra for accepting applications for accreditations despite the board’s orders.

On Monday (August 14), the LTFRB suspended Uber operations for repeatedly violating the board’s order to stop accepting driver applications.

Uber filed a motion for reconsideration on Tuesday (August 15), however, the LTFRB rejected it. With Aerol Patena/PNA