Malacañang stands by LTFRB decision to suspend Uber
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang said it supports the decision of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to impose a one-month suspension on transport network company (TNC) Uber.
"The LTFRB is under the Office of the President, so yes, we support that," said Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella on Tuesday, August 15, during a Palace news briefing.
The LTFRB is an attached agency of the Department of Transportation (DOTr), under the executive branch.
President Rodrigo Duterte's spokesman said the LTFRB is only doing its job.
"As per LTFRB, Uber systems unduly challenge its rules and instructions. The issue here is striking a balance between innovation and laws, and regulations that the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board has to implement as part of its administrative function in regulating common carriers," said Abella.
But Malacañang also acknowledged the "positive and beneficial services" provided to commuters by TNCs like Uber.
"We do empathize with the traveling public. It affects everyone, including us sometimes," said Abella.
Malacañang is leaving it up to the DOTr to resolve the issues between the LTFRB and Uber, but appealed for a solution to be arrived at as soon as possible.
"We wish the LTFRB and Uber situation should be completed as soon as possible, it should be addressed, it should be resolved as soon as possible," said Abella.
On the position of lawmakers, like Senator Grace Poe, that the LTFRB should have just fined Uber in order to spare the riding public from inconvenience, Abella said the proposal has "merit" but stopped there.
"We do need to understand that the one in charge is LTFRB so we go by that," he said.
Poe, chairperson of the Senate public services committee, had slammed the LTFRB for its "cruel" and "absurd" decision.
Commuters have also taken to their social media accounts to express outrage over the Uber suspension.
The LTFRB maintains, however, that Uber deserves the sanction since it refused to comply with government orders. (READ: TIMELINE: Why only Uber is suspended)
The LTFRB also clarified on Tuesday that the suspension remains in effect while Uber's motion for reconsideration is pending. – Rappler.com