The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board suspended Uber’s operation for one month in an order issued last 14 August 2017.
The suspension was ordered after the ride-hailing company defied the board’s directive to stop accepting applications for accreditation of transport network vehicle services (TNVS) and their eventual approval or activation.
Also Read: 10 Travel Apps that’re Actually Useful
Uber adhered to this and suspended its operations from 6am on Tuesday, 15 August 2017. The transport network company (TNC) claimed that over the course of the suspension, tens of thousands of riders were left stranded, causing needless inconvenience, while drivers were unable to access the earning opportunities they rely on. However, it was able to resume its operations after filing for a motion for reconsideration just a few hours after it was suspended.
The legal banter is sure to go on between the private transport network company and the government agency. And who knows for how long? Considering the usual docketing and resolution of cases in our legal courts, we can already hypothesize.
But for us the riding public, what does this suspension truly mean? How will this affect the overall travel experience of both foreign and local tourists in the country?
Here are the top tweets (#WhyWeUber) of the riding and travelling public stating their reactions of the recent suspension of Uber in the Philippines:
“Because I want a safe ride from NAIA whenever I’m back home in the Philippines.” – Viel Manderley
“There are no ‘Badjaos’ creeping up in cars when we Uber. That’s #WhyWeUber. We feel safer with Uber than with jeepneys and buses.” – Geronimo Lomeda Jr.
“I usually travel early morning going to province. I ride Uber from my condo to bus station cause I know I am safe at Uber.” – Judith Jader
“SERIOUSLY? Even those regular cabs lined up on bays are declining their passengers for their convenience! Pag malayo lakad nlng.” – SHai Tan
“it’s sad when taxi drivers makes my ride longer upon hearing my Visayan accent not knowing i’ve been in MLA for more than 5 years.” – liyo denorte
And a tweet from a local news company:
“Vietnamese national na delegado sa Foreign Minister Forum, siningil ng mahal at kinuhaan pa ng cellphone ng taxi driver.” – DZRH News
Even Sen. Grace Poe shared the sentiments of the suffering citizens as to how the order greatly affects the public and “places the riders’ well-being at risk by limiting their options.” She also loathed and vehemently stated how LTFRB could’ve just placed “a corresponding administrative penalty” instead of putting Uber’s operations on hold.
We could go on listing the violent, sarcastic, and melancholic reaction of the riding public, both foreign and locals, but there would be not much time for us.
On average, we Filipinos, especially those who are living in the capital, spend at least 6 hours a day in travelling. This time could have been spent with your family, resting, or doing the things that you are passionate about. But what powerful things can we do except wait for the government to expedite their claimed solutions which certainly could take eons of years to finally be realised by the commuting public?
Then here enters Uber in the picture – so much akin to a wish granted (if not a superhero). In just a single tap on anyone’s smartphone, a ride is sure to come and drop you off to your chosen destination – even all the way to your province.
Also Read: 8 Cool Apps to Make Your Travels Easier
Needless to say, it has become a great breather from the worsening transportation conditions in the Philippines. And now that its operations are put in halt and in question in the courts, can you imagine going back to your life before Uber?