In a controversial move by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), Uber Philippines was issued a month-long suspension starting from Tuesday, August 15. According to the LTFRB, “The board meted out the penalty of one-month suspension on the accreditation of Uber System, Inc. and was ordered to cease and desist its operation of their online booking application during the period of suspension.” This comes after the popular transportation company defied the agency’s orders, which directed all transport network companies to stop accrediting drivers into their systems beginning July 26, 2017. However, Uber was the only ride-sharing app that has been affected by it, with its prime competitor Grab following the agency’s orders.
The move by the regulatory board sparked outrage amongst the Philippine public, with many claiming that it has affected their day to day life tremendously. Not only has the suspension impacted the Uber riders, but it has also influenced the livelihoods of drivers nationwide. Through a post on its Facebook page, Uber Philippines has issued a public apology stating, “Over the course of this morning, tens of thousands of riders were left stranded, causing needless inconvenience, while drivers were unable to access the earning opportunities they rely on. We are looking forward to urgently resolving this matter with LTFRB in the interests of everyone who depends on Uber every day.”
The impact of the Uber suspension has undoubtedly been felt at ISM as well. Many Bearcats aware of the suspension have expressed frustration and inconvenience over it. Uber was the saving grace for people at ISM when the number-plate coding system left many students without the convenience of their cars. When asked about the use of Uber, Vibhan M. (10) states, “I used to use Uber to travel back and forth from school on Tuesdays but now I use Grab. The Uber suspension has caused problems for me because Grab isn’t as reliable so it is hard to find a cab sometimes.”
For many people, Uber is used as an alternative mode of transportation on the weekends. When asked what the effect of the Uber suspension was, Faria B. (12) says, “I’m definitely aware of the fact that Uber has been suspended for the past month or so. I think the worst part is not having the convenience of calling one when I need it on days like Sunday.” Students have turned to using Grab but it does not seem to be as popular a choice as Uber. While some find Grab to be very reliable, others find it hard to find Grab cars.
All in all, the effect of Uber’s suspension has been felt nationwide. While it has impacted the general Philippine population, the impact has been massive on ISM students too. Even though the future of Uber is not definite, it is expected to be resuming its operations once the month- long suspension ends.