Regulators want the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) to weigh in on a court-ordered halt to Uber and GrabCar’s operations in the country.
A Quezon City regional trial court, acting on a petition filed by a public transport group, on Friday issued a 20-day temporary restraining order against the app-based service.
The Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) said that as far as it was concerned, Uber and GrabCar were operating legitimately.
“We seeking the advice of the Office of the Solicitor General to continue the … transport network [vehicle]service (TNVS) ,” LTFRB chairman Winston Ginez told reporters.
The court ordered the LTFRB, along with the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), to stop accepting TNVS applications.
The Stop and Go Coalition claimed that the new category, which covers Uber and GrabCar, was taking incomes away from franchised transport utilities.
Ginez said the LTFRB was working on steps to address the restraining order, noting that its effectivity falls within the Christmas season when demand for transportation services is high.
“That is the message we want to get across, Christmas is drawing near. There are a lot of people who use Uber and GrabCar,” he said, noting that the court had ordered the halt to start once the agency received the ruling.
Uber and GrabCar, for their part, said they had yet to receive the court order.
“Uber is aware of a decision issued earlier today by the Quezon City Regional Trial Court and is studying the implications of this decision upon transport network vehicle services performed by Uber partners,” Uber spokesperson Karun Arya said in an e-mail.
“Uber was not a party to the proceedings that resulted in the court’s decision and plans to coordinate closely with the DOTC and LTFRB. Uber remains 100% committed to serving Filipino commuters and has confidence that the DOTC and LTFRB will continue working productively with Uber and other industry participants to issue all necessary permits under the prevailing regulations and assure the smooth operation of Transport Network Vehicle Services in Metro Manila and elsewhere in the Philippines,” the spokesperson added.
GrabCar, meanwhile, issued a statement saying: “We haven’t received a memo of the TRO but we’re currently coordinating with the LTFRB and our lawyers for our next steps.”