Uber pays P190-M fine but still suspended

Rambo Talabong
Uber pays P190-M fine but still suspended
The LTFRB still requires Uber to submit proof that it has paid its drivers P299.24 million during the days they were not allowed to ply the streets

MANILA, Philippines – Uber is still suspended.

On Tuesday, August 29, the transport network company (TNC) paid the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) its P190-million fine ($3.7 million*) for it to operate again.

However, it cannot resume operations just yet, as the LTFRB still requires Uber to submit proof from its depository bank that it paid P299.24 million as payment to its drivers during the days they were not allowed to ply the streets.

In a text message to Rappler, Uber communications chief Cat Avelino said they were still waiting for the bank certificate. “Sana umabot today (We hope it is released to us today),” she said.

Until then, its loyal riders and some 36,000 Uber drivers need to wait.

LTFRB board member Aileen Lizada earlier said that if Uber submitted proper documents, it would have been allowed to operate immediately.

Uber has been suspended since August 15 – it was supposed to last a month without the fine – after it was found to have continued accepting new drivers into its system despite an LTFRB order for it to stop. (READ: TIMELINE: Why only Uber is suspended)

Uber said it didn’t understand the board’s order correctly. The LTFRB did not buy it, thus the one-month suspension. 

After public outrage and a meeting with senators, the LTFRB allowed Uber to file a petition converting the remaining suspension days into a fine.

While Uber was away, its users and drivers were allowed to be accommodated by other TNCs like Grab and UHop.

As advised by the LTFRB, the transport giant gave its drivers financial assistance, computing the giveaway based on the driver’s performance before it was suspended.

Before its operations were halted, Uber employed some 36,000 active drivers and serviced 150,000 riders a day. – Rappler.com

*US$1 = P51

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Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.