Transport groups file complaint vs Uber for 'wanting to be above the law'

MANILA, Philippines – Transport groups on Wednesday, August 16, filed a complaint against Uber, after the transport network company (TNC) initially defied the one-month suspension imposed on it by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).

The complaint was filed by the Alliance of Concerned Transport Organizations (ACTO); Kilusan sa Pagbabago ng Industriya ng Transportasyon; Pasang Masda; Liga ng Transportasyon at Opereytor sa Pilipinas; Drivers Unite for Mass Progress, Equality, and Reality (Dumper); and the Federation of Jeepney Operators and Drivers Associations of the Philippines (Fejodap).

These groups said they are against Uber's stance of "wanting to be above the law."

"Operating more than 50,000 colorum vehicles sets a dangerous precedent, and if not stopped would [wreak] havoc [on] the country's transport plans and programs," the groups said in their complaint.

"These vehicles were operating without a valid authority from the LTFRB, thus colorum," they added. (READ: What's the fuss about the Grab, Uber regulation issue?)

Early Tuesday morning, August 15, Uber had announced it was halting operations to comply with the LTFRB order. But shortly after, it said it would resume operations because it had already filed a motion for reconsideration. The LTFRB, however, immediately clarified that the suspension stands despite the pending appeal. Uber's motion was eventually junked within the same day.

In an interview after rejecting the appeal, LTFRB board member Aileen Lizada told Rappler that they would rule on Uber's defiance in a separate hearing.

For now, the transport groups hope that the case will bring equal treatment, saying that taxis, buses, jeepneys, and vans are apprehended without tolerance.

Before this legal offensive, other transport groups flagged the LTFRB's supposed "special treatment" for TNCs as the board allowed some 120,000 drivers to ply the roads even though most of them do not have adequate papers.

Of the 120,000, only 15,400 at most have the necessary permits.

The complaint was filed before the Quezon City Prosecutor's Office. –