• Uber to pay P190-M fine this week – LTFRB spokesman

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    Ride-sharing operator Uber has promised to pay this week the P190-million fine that the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) had imposed on it for operating colorum vehicles in defiance of a board order.

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    Colorum vehicles do not have franchises.

    The promise was made, according to LTFRB spokesman Aileen Lizada, although, “we have no official communication from them… So [we will wait until Tuesday this week what their action is].”

    The board had said “the online ride-sharing services of [Uber Systems Inc.] will be restored when it has paid the amount of fine.”

    BACK AGAIN? Ride-sharing giant Uber is expected to resume operations in the Philippines after regulators lifted a ban against the American company in exchange for a P190-million fine. Heavy traffic, such as this one shown on Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City, has apparently made Uber’s services popular with commuters who would rather endure the gridlocks while inside the company’s comfortable vehicles than ordinary taxis or jeepneys. The company, however, had been suspended for operating vehicles without franchises. PHOTO BY RUY L. MARTINEZ

    The fine resulted from Uber’s suspension for operating colorum units.

    On Sunday, the franchising board noted that that it would be the “first time” in its history that a suspension was converted into a fine.

    As such, “We have to tread on it very clearly [so there would not be interpretation on where we are coming from in converting the suspension],” Lizada said in an interview over radio dzMM.

    On Friday, the board directed Uber to pay P190 million in exchange for lifting the suspension order against the ride-sharing company.

    It said the P190 million is equivalent to Uber’s daily average income and the remaining days of its suspension.

    In a text message to reporters, Lizada said, “Uber has a range of about P7 to P10 million based on 150,000 riders per day. So the remaining days of suspension is 19, times P10 million, that’s P190 million.”

    Uber itself asked the LTFRB to convert its one-month suspension into a fine for it to be able to resume operation, even offering up to P10 million compensation to the board.

    “The board thus rule[d]to grant the prayer of [Uber] to lift the order of suspension imposed in its order of 14 August 2017 and in lieu thereof, impose[d]a fine of P190,000,000, the amount of which when paid will be remitted to the national treasury” the LTFRB said in its order.

    Uber has commited to remit daily P19,949,600 in financial assistance to its transport network vehicle services operators and drivers until the day when ride-sharing services are restored.

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