Driver of private car using Uber app nabbed in LTFRB sting
MANILA, Philippines—The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) apprehended for colorum violation a driver of a private vehicle that used the Uber app to connect with a commuter in a sting operation last Wednesday.
LTFRB Chair Winston Ginez said the operation stemmed from the complaint filed by the Philippine National Taxi Operators Association against Uber, a technology startup that could connect passengers with drivers through mobile application.
On Wednesday, a complainant booked a trip using Uber from Metrowalk in Pasig City to Quezon Memorial Circle and paid P350, said Dennis Barrion, chief of staff of LTFRB’s Executive Director Roberto Cabrera.
Upon reaching the destination, the driver of the black Toyota Fortuner with plate number WII360 was approached by enforcers of the LTFRB and the Land Transportation Office. The driver’s license was confiscated and the vehicle was impounded for franchise violation.
Under Joint Administrative Order 2014-01, a colorum van faces a penalty of P200,000.
Barrion said the complainant booked another trip from Timog Avenue to East Avenue in Quezon City but the driver, after receiving a call, immediately told the passengers that the booking was canceled. The Uber account of the complainant was later blocked.
Ginez clarified, however, that the subject of the operation was the private vehicle. “We haven’t looked into Uber’s liability in so far as the LTFRB is concerned,” Ginez told the Philippine Daily Inquirer on Thursday.
But the LTFRB chair said Uber has been acting as a means of communication between commuters and private vehicles which have been violating the Public Service Law.
“(Uber) doesn’t need to secure a franchise because it’s not a transport company, they don’t carry passengers. But through its application, private unlicensed vehicles are able to engage in public land transportation without securing a franchise from LTFRB,” Ginez said.