Uber resumes services in Philippines in defiance of suspension order

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Grab said it has "adjusted" its prices to include a cap on surge fees in order to manage what is likely to be a lot more demand.

The commotion began after the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) told Uber to stop accepting new driver applications until it better understood how to regulate the ride-hailing industry in the Philippines.

In the same meeting, Uber Technologies Southeast Asia manager Michael Brown apologized to LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra for accepting applications for accreditations despite the board's orders.

The senator pointed out that although Uber was "in-demand" by passengers, it is not an excuse to defy government regulations.

A year ago the regulator suspended the acceptance and processing of applications for all ride-sharing services, including Uber, to study further how to regulate the industry.

When it issued the original order, the LTFRB urged Uber to "extend financial assistance" to its drivers during the one-month period as "an expression of good faith", as they "would not have suffered the current predicament were it not for [Uber's] predatory actions".

Uber drivers caught giving rides during that time will face a fine of more than $2,300 and have their cars impounded for three months, the agency said, according to CNN Philippines.

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Mr Delgra said the regulator would work with Uber. He said that penalties will still have to be meted out. "We just made it clear that we want the interest of the riding public as a priority", he added.

In the appeal to LTFRB, Uber said it had the right to due process and wanted a stay of implementation of the suspension.

American ride-sharing start-up Arcade City launched services in the Philipines on Wednesday, offering itself as an alternative to Uber but prompting an immediate regulatory crackdown.

"If there's been a misunderstanding in the past, that's on us and I apologise for that misunderstanding".

It is estimated that some 200,000 Philippine commuters have been affected by the temporary suspension of Uber.

But upon monitoring the compliance of the two TNCs, the LTFRB found Uber "willfully and contumaciously violates the said directive" as it continued to accept new TNVS drivers/vehicles.

Uber's troubles in the Philippines are the latest in a series of hurdles to its attempts to expand globally. Anything you need from us, we're gonna do it.

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