LTFRB vs. Uber

LTFRB apprehending an Uber-associated vehicle:

Ang problema natin diyan, vehicles are not registered with the LTFRB or any agency under the DOTC (Department of Transportation and Communications),” Cabrera told TV5. “The truth is napakarami na naming complaints na natanggap.

I’m all for innovation. However, with the risk of stating the obvious, innovation should operate within the limits of the law. The transportation industry is a regulated industry. The governing laws protect not only the commuting populace, but every party involved. Whether these laws are executed properly or not isn’t enough for the tech industry to exploit and call it innovation.

An important part of solving this problem is to find an acceptable solution that includes drivers and operators. Uber should do better.

UPDATE 1: MMDA disagrees with LTFRB:

“The muscle of the law and the procedural and technical arms of government agencies alone cannot solve the lack of alternative means of transportation. They can only increase apprehension records. Uber or hybrid carpooling is a well-meaning technology-driven effort intended for public safety and convenience. That’s why people are patronizing it,” said MMDA Chair Francis Tolentino.

I interpret this statement as a plea to LTFRB to keep an open mind about Uber. I fully agree. LTFRB should do everything it can to help companies like Uber create an alternative solution to the worsening traffic problem in Metro Manila within the limits of the law.

This is also a direct admission of Tolentino that LTFRB is right for apprehending the Uber-commissioned SUV.

UPDATE 2: Yugatech defends LTFRB.

Uber has faced exactly the same regulatory issues in other countries in Europe, South Korea and even in its home country in the United States. So it’s not just the LTFRB who has an issue with Uber.

Compared to other taxi apps like GrabTaxi or EasyTaxi where the vehicles have legitimate operators and franchise holders, Uber does not have the same license to operate a fleet. If they applied for a franchise, permit or something similar, and is granted one, then there should not be any problem.

Yet netizens are furious.