LTFRB fines Grab, Uber ₱5 million each for violations

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 11) — For Grab and Uber, it's a case of losing one battle but winning another war.

Regulators slapped a P5 million fine for each transport network company (TNC) after they found the two committed a number of violations.

The biggest misconduct: colorum or illegal operation.

Grab and Uber admitted they still accredit new drivers and operators despite the regulator's suspension order on all new applications.

Grab reports having roughly 28,000, but only about 4,000 of them have a provisional authority or certificate of public convenience.

A certificate of public convenience authorizes a business to operate, in this case allows TNCs to ferry passengers.

The regulator also claims they could be trading franchises. Officials found several discrepancies in Uber's records.

The names of some of its drivers were not identical to those listed with the LTFRB. Others have no record at all.

Atty. Aileen Lizada, a board member of the LTFRB, said, "we support this technology but we have to clean this up. We can't turn a blind eye just because you're a new player."

LTFRB will not suspend Grab, Uber accreditations

Today, instead of disappointment, there was relief.

The LTFRB imposed the fine but decided against canceling the accreditation of Grab and Uber and officials say they recognize the importance of Grab and Uber's service to commuters.

They also want to protect thousands of drivers and operators who rely on the business for their livelihood.

Glenford Artuz, president of Grab's Peers and Drivers community said, "Nakakatuwa po dahil sa tingin ko ay mabibigyang pag-asa kami magtuloy-tuloy ng biyahe."

[Translation: We are happy because I feel this gives us hope to continue to work.]

Brian Cu, Grab's country manager said, "The fine will be absorbed by us as a company. We do not want it to affect our partners primarily, and we will not pass on that fine to our passengers. In fact we might give a celebratory promo for this momentous day to all our passengers."

RELATED: Uber PH to patrons, drivers: It's business as usual

Uber released a statement which said, "We thank the LTFRB for recognizing the important role ridesharing plays in our country's transportation system. We look forward to working with the LTFRB and the DOTr towards sustainable mobility solutions for the benefit of all our riders and drivers. We will comply with the order issued by the LTFRB today."

The LTFRB warns, Grab and Uber must clean up their act once and for all.

But it is also willing to compromise.

There will be a meeting later this month so both sides can talk about lifting the suspension on new applications.

Grab and Uber estimate they each need about 5,000 to 6,000 new drivers to keep up with peak periods like rush hour and pay day.

The LTFRB says it will look at how many new applications it can accept.