Uber blows off Philippine regulators and defies ban

Uber blows off Philippine regulators and defies ban

"The decision of the LTFRB to suspend Uber is both cruel and absurd", said Senator Grace Poe, who heads the upper chamber's transport committee.

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), the Philippine transportation regulator, announced the suspension on Monday.

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

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.

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 ordered Uber to stop accepting new drivers in July while the issue was sorted out.

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

Lizada clarified that applicant TNCs can only hire LTFRB accredited drivers from Uber, Grab or U-Hop.

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"We look forward to urgently resolving this matter, and thank the public for its support over the last 24 hours", Uber said.

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

When asked what penalties Uber is likely to face, Lizada said: "I do not like to preempt the decision of the board".

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 just made it clear that we want the interest of the riding public as a priority", he added.

"If we can pay a fine, you know part of rectifying what happened there because our top priority is to get back drivers back on the road and earning and to serve the people of the Philippines", he added.

It is estimated that some 200,000 Philippine commuters have been affected by the temporary suspension of Uber.

The suspension led to an outpouring of anger by Filipinos on social media. "Of course, I'm not in favor of it because I don't see any reason why they should do it", he said.

Uber ran into trouble in the Philippines for continuing to bring on new drivers after the agency suspended its accreditation process last summer, pending a review of the regulations.

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