P10-M fine instead of suspension, Uber appeals

MANILA — Uber has filed a manifestation before the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Thursday asking that it pay a PHP10 million fine in lieu of the one-month suspension of its operations.

LTFRB board member and spokesperson Aileen Lizada said the transportation network company (TNC) has also declared its intent to provide financial assistance for its affected transportation network vehicle services (TNVS) partners.

Lizada said the Board is set to conduct a hearing on the matter on August 23, 2017.

“We will be hearing Uber’s side. If there is a need to hear the TNVS as regards to their financial assistance, we will do the same. We will not be pressured to fast track everything,” the LTFRB official said in an interview with reporters.

Uber and the LTFRB had a meeting Wednesday with the Senate Committee on Public Services to settle the impasse over the accreditation of TNCs.

Committee chairperson Sen. Grace Poe stated that the meeting was conducted to ease the burden of passengers affected by the suspension.

During the meeting, Uber Technologies Southeast Asia manager Michael Brown apologized to LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra III for any misunderstanding caused by its continuing acceptance of new drivers into its system despite an order halting activation.

“If there’s been a misunderstanding in the past, that’s on us and I apologize for that misunderstanding,” Brown said.

LTFRB, in its suspension order dated August 14, directed Uber to cease and desist the operations of its online booking applications.

It is holding the TNC responsible for all its accredited “colorum” TNVS that were apprehended during the suspension period, if these were discovered, that they continue to accept passengers using their mobile application.

Uber has filed a motion for reconsideration to lift the suspension but LTFRB junked their appeal citing that its activation of new drivers has led to the rise in the number of “colorum” TNVS which have no certificates of public convenience or provisional authority.  PNA-northboundasia.com