Fined for operating without permits in Philippines

The Philippines Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) fined Uber for 5 million Philippine pesos (about US$97,000) for letting some drivers operate without permits. Uber and fellow TNC Grab defended their action by citing passenger demand, explaining that if the did not add new drivers, they would be unable to serve passenger requests. But LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra III pointed out that this purpose did not excuse the companies from complying with applicable laws.

According to the LTFRB, of the 10,054 active drivers that Uber submitted, less than 2,000 had active and valid permits.

LFTRB Tweet alerting drivers to the obligation to cease operations, and encouraging Uber to “to extend financial assistance” to drivers because drivers “would not have suffered the current predicament were it not for the predatory actions of respondent Uber.”

The LTFRB subsequently offered to lift the one-month suspension if Uber paid a penalty of 190 million pesos ($3.7 million). Senator Grace Poe, a Philippines legislator favoring improving transport, said the hefty fine should “make Uber rethink its actions and re-evaluate its strategy in testing the extent of government regulations.”