The Philippine transport regulator said on Friday it would lift a one-month suspension on Uber Technologies if it paid a penalty of 190 million pesos ($3.7 million), a fine nearly 20 times greater than Uber had offered to pay.
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, or LTFRB, said Uber also needed to collectively pay its drivers nearly 20 million pesos daily as financial assistance during the suspension period.
“We’re working hard to meet the conditions for the lifting of the suspension and hope to resume operations as soon as possible,” Uber said in a statement.
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board of Philippines punished Uber with a one-month suspension on August 14 because of permission issues and ignoring an instruction to stop accepting new driver applications. It was also noted that LTFRB already warned Uber about taking new drivers in July, but Uber ignored it and thereby reached to this situation.
Sources from Uber mentioned to a House committee that less than four percent of its drivers in the Philippines have proper permits.
Initially, Uber got the proposal to pay a 10 million fine to resume the work and stop the suspension. But, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board of Philippines declared on August 25 that Uber now must pay almost 20 times what it offered to pay initially. Uber is reportedly ready to pay the fine “at the soonest time possible” and will be ready to resume operations in the coming week.
The suspension caused a major problem for daily commuters who have easy access to their commute routes with Uber’s clickable app rather than a regular transport service which is not as reliable, comfortable, or considerate of time.
Senator Grace Poe, a prominent advocate of improving transport services, said on Friday that the hefty fine should “make Uber rethink its actions and re-evaluate its strategy in testing the extent of government regulations.”