Osmeña opposes LTFRB's suspension of Uber

People walk past an Uber advertisement outside the Uber main office in Mandaluyong city metro Manila

Philippines suspends Uber operations for 1 month

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

"Operating more than 50,000 colorum vehicles sets a risky 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.

A company spokesman said Uber was "studying the order".

The commotion began after the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) told Uber to stop accepting new driver applications until it better understood how to regulate the ride-hailing industry in the Philippines.

The government replied immediately, saying the suspension was still in force and threatening to arrest Uber drivers who violated it. Uber suspended its operations the following day, Tuesday.

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In the appeal to LTFRB, Uber said it had the right to due process and wanted a stay of implementation of the suspension.

Aileen Lizada, LTFRB spokesperson said the board is looking at accrediting new TNCs for the affected Uber TNVS should its accreditation is cancelled.

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

"We have no immediate plans, but never say never", he 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.

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The month-long suspension of Uber accreditation has opened new doors for new players as applications for the online transport business continue to pour in.

"I really don't know why they're doing that".

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

The suspension had led to a surge in demand for rival Grab, which issued a statement on Tuesday calling it a "unique situation" and asking users to "bear with us".

Last month, 50,000 of Uber's and Grab's vehicles were nearly suspended since they lacked certificates of public conveyance to operate. Anything you need from us, we're gonna do it.

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An Uber representative told a House committee earlier this month that of its 66,000 drivers in the Philippines, only about 2,500 of them have proper permits.

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