Press Release
August 15, 2017

Press Statement on the Suspension of Uber

If the intent is to punish, then to do it in a way that will hurt Uber, the company, and not the tired and harassed riding public.

So instead of suspension, can the penalty be in the form of a fine? If legally feasible, make it in the seven figures again, as a painful reminder to comply with regulations.

Uber can take a hit. A fine in the millions of pesos is more of a pinch for a global conglomerate which grossed $20 billion last year. It is not a big haircut, just the pulling of a few strands.

Secondly, can the suspension be not made blanket and be limited to units with so-called licensing deficiencies?

LTFRB should give the public a tunnel-end vision, on when this crisis will end. And most important, it should shorten the length of the tunnel, so that Uber can comply easily.

Again this is a standoff that needs to be arbitrated and refereed. I hope that tomorrow's Senate hearing to be called by Senator Grace Poe will arrive not only at a mutually satisfying solution, but one in which the public wins.

The LTFRB has a budget of P535 million this year. It should show taxpayers that it deserves every peso it gets.

As we search for solutions, let us be guided by the fact that ride-sharing companies have prospered because in a city bereft of reliable mass transport, they have become for many not just the ride of last resort, but in fact the only ride.

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