50 Uber cars on hold in Cebu

By: Michelle Joy L. Padayhag, Vanessa Claire Lucero December 05,2015 - 01:41 AM

The  Cebu  launch of Uber, a private ride-sharing service that connects drivers online, is  affected by the stoppage order of the Quezon City Trial Court.

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) will not process franchise applications for 50 Uber units in Cebu while a 20-day temporary restraining order against ride-sharing services, which includes GrabCar operations, is in effect.

But 10 Uber cars, which were issued a 45-day provisional authority before the issuance of the TRO, will be able to operate for 45 days, said LTFRB 7 Regional Director Reynaldo Elnar.

The much-awaited Uber launch in Cebu was scheduled on Dec. 3 withannouncements  posted online for a 20 percent discount from Dec. 3 to 9.  It said “Uber partners will be ready to take your ride requests. Experience the 5-star service Uber has become known for — to and from anywhere in Metro Cebu: from Consolacion to Talisay, and all of Mactan.”

Cebu Daily News e-mailed Uber’s online support team for comment but got no reply yesterday.

“We’re coordinating with the LTFRB and our lawyers for our next steps,” said Grab Philippines spokesman Lorelei Olalia in a text message.

Grab Philippines operates only one of its formats, GrabTaxi, in Cebu. GrabCar, which is similar to Uber, operates only in Manila.

On its Facebook page, Grab Philippines said it will “continue to operate as usual” until they receive a copy of the court order.

“We are hopeful that we will get (government) support to be able to provide safe and convenient GrabCar rides in the country. Our commitment towards providing the highest quality of service remains,” the company said.

Judge Santiago Arenas of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court has stopped for 20 days the accepting, processing and approval of permits to operate Uber and GrabCar operations under Transportation Network Vehicle Service without a certificate of public convenience (CPC).

The 20-day restraining order halts  implementation of Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) and LTFRB issuances on accreditation, conditions and implementing guidelines to operate TNVS.

LTFRB board member Antonio Enrile Inton, Jr., in a text message to CDN, said they respect the  court’s stoppage order.

About 7,000 units applied for the TNVS and there is already “cutthroat competition among them (applicants),” he said.

The court order was based on the petition of the Angat Tsuper Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator ng Pilipinas Genuine Organization Transport Coalition (STOP and Go), Inc., represented by

Pascual Magno, which claimed that the income of taxi and Utility Vehicles (UV) Express drivers has decreased because of the ride-sharing services.

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TAGS: Cebu, Grabcar, GrabTaxi, LTFRB, Quezon City Trial Court, TNVS, Uber

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