Uber apologizes to LTFRB for ‘misunderstanding’

Camille Elemia
Uber apologizes to LTFRB for ‘misunderstanding’
'If there's been a misunderstanding in the past, that's on us and I apologize for that misunderstanding,' says Uber regional executive Michael Brown

MANILA, Philippines – A top official of Uber Technologies Southeast Asia apologized to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), which had suspended the ride-hailing company for one month in the Philippines.

Michael Brown, Uber Technologies Southeast Asia manager, approached LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra III before the closed-door meeting called by Senate public services committee chairperson Senator Grace Poe.

“If there’s been a misunderstanding in the past, that’s on us and I apologize for that misunderstanding,” Brown said on Wednesday, August 16.

Delgra acknowledged the apology and told Uber to follow Philippine laws. (READ: What’s the fuss about the Grab, Uber regulation issue?)

“This is not a fight. We’re trying to work together here to address public transportation issues,” Delgra told Brown.

Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito, who was at the meeting, said Uber also “committed to comply” with the LTFRB’s orders.

Uber had been suspended for violating the LTFRB’s order not to accredit new drivers beginning late July. (READ: TIMELINE: Why only Uber is suspended)

The suspension took effect on Tuesday, August 15. Uber filed a motion for reconsideration on the same day but the LTFRB swiftly rejected it just hours later.

Uber earlier called on the LTFRB not to impose ancient rules on “technological innovations.”

Malacañang, for its part, stood by the regulatory body and said it is just doing its job.

As of posting time, the LTFRB and Uber officials are still in a meeting, discussing possible solutions. Commuters had slammed the suspension, saying it is a hassle for them given the sorry state of public transportation in the country.

Ejercito said one of the proposals is to allow Uber to continue operations, but they would be barred from getting their income share for a certain period of time. – Rappler.com

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Camille Elemia

Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation issues, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email camille.elemia@rappler.com