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Uber Bows to Philippines Suspension After Show of Defiance

17 August 2017

You won't be able to hail an Uber ride in the Philippines for at least a month.

Uber initially obeyed the order and shut down its app yesterday morning, triggering anger from commuters who lashed out at the government for taking away what had become a trusted alternative to notoriously bad public transport.

"If there was a misunderstanding on our part relative to the LTFRB's intention with their prior order, then that was our mistake", Uber regional executive Michael Brown told reporters.

On Wednesday, a meeting between Uber and LTFRB set up by Poe failed to resolve the impasse as Martin Delgra, the head of the agency, said that the directive would stand. This episode in the saga didn't last long either.

Uber has been in a dispute with the LTFRB over permitting.

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

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A five-page suspension order of the regulator made available on Tuesday said the suspension was due to the "irresponsible" behaviour of Uber in "unduly challenging the limit of fair regulation" by continuing to accept driver applications.

The Philippines suspension is the latest setback this year to Uber, one of the most valuable startups in the world with a valuation upwards of $60 billion, which is struggling to recover from a series of scandals and is hiring a new leader.

The complainants, describing themselves as the "national president and/or chairman of various transport organizations [representing] transport workers", alleged that Uber did not stop accepting applications of transport network vehicles despite LTFRB's order and its subsequent fine of P5 million.

LTFRB on Monday suspended operations of Uber.

"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.

"We're here to respect the regulator and in this case, if there was a misunderstanding, then I apologize".

"Now we bring that peer-to-peer model to the Philippines", Arcade City said, adding that new drivers were being recruited. It added there was no proof it violated the LTFRB's order stopping the activation of new drivers.

Uber Bows to Philippines Suspension After Show of Defiance