Fare hike? Uber to gauge impact of new taxes first

MANILA, Philippines – Uber Philippines said on Friday, January 5, that it will defer its fare hike petition until it assesses the "initial impact" of the new tax reform law and the public utility vehicle (PUV) modernization program on its operations.

Uber made the statement hours after its competitor, Grab Philippines, filed a petition for a 5% fare hike before the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB). 

"Uber Philippines is taking a holistic approach, with the goal of improving reliability for riders while ensuring a sustainable business model for all our driver-partners," Uber communications officer Cat Avelino told Rappler in a text message on Friday.

"We are looking at not only the impact of newly passed laws, but compliance in support of the government’s flagship PUV modernization program. Any future proposal will take all these factors into consideration," it added.

The Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (Train) bill  took effect on the first day of 2018 while the PUV modernization program is supposed to be implemented this year.

While the new tax law reduces income tax, it increases excise taxes on products like petroleum, cars, and vehicle spare parts.

In filing its fare hike petition, Grab cited the rise in gasoline prices and car maintenance expenses because of the new taxes. 

The PUV modernizaiton program under the Department of Transportation (DOTr) seeks to replace aging jeepneys with safer, and environment-friendly ones. (LOOK: New jeepneys under PUV modernization program) – Rappler.com

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers security, crime, and the city of Manila for Rappler. He was chosen as a Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.

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