The Uber Case: In defense of LTFRB

I like Uber. Started using it in Detroit early this year and a few more times in recent months here in Manila. I recommend it to a lot of friends and encourage our people in the office to use it. Same with Grab a Taxi and similar other taxi apps.

This week, the LTFRB has started imposing fines on Uber cars for operating without a license. That’s Php200,000 penalty and 3 months of impoundment. The collateral damage includes all commuters that have been using Uber.


In a megacity city such as Metro Manila where traffic congestion and long taxi lines are a daily routine, Uber offers a fresh solution to commuters. The rides are more comfortable; the drivers are very professional and graciously opens the car door for you. You’d sometimes even get a few fringe benefits like a bottle of mineral water or a piece of candy when you alight.

However, the LTFRB has openly discouraged the operation of Uber cars because of some regulatory reasons. Since the cars in the Uber pool have no franchise, they are not allowed to provide public service. In short, they are considered as colorum.

While Uber provides the much needed comfort many commuters have been looking for, the LTFRB still has to apply the same law to them as with any other colorum operations by taxis, jeepneys and buses that ply the streets of Manila. Or those habal-habal motorcycles that ferry passengers from Ayala MRT to The Fort.

Uber has faced exactly the same regulatory issues in other countries in Europe, South Korea and even in its home country in the United States. So it’s not just the LTFRB who has an issue with Uber.

Compared to other taxi apps like GrabTaxi or EasyTaxi where the vehicles have legitimate operators and franchise holders, Uber does not have the same license to operate a fleet. If they applied for a franchise, permit or something similar, and is granted one, then there should not be any problem.

The LTFRB Chairman has indicated that 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”.

The FX and UV Express faced the same problems with LTFRB years before but now they are able to operate just fine and under the regulatory umbrella of the LTFRB.

Uber is a nice technology. Perhaps we should encourage the government and our lawmakers to craft a law that will enable them to be enjoyed by the riding public.

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Avatar for Abe Olandres

Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech with over 20 years of experience in the technology industry. He is one of the pioneers of blogging in the country and considered by many as the Father of Tech Blogging in the Philippines. He is also a technology consultant, a tech columnist with several national publications, resource speaker and mentor/advisor to several start-up companies.

24 Responses

  1. Avatar for carlo carlo says:

    any update on this? delay in negotiations? no actions to any party?

  2. Avatar for Baldo Baldo says:

    Uber car summoning services is efficient, safe, reliable and comfortable to use bec you don’t have to hail a cab on the street.

    Having said that, the company still violates the fair competition law. Some of its vehicles are private cars which do not have franchise to operate. It means colorum sila. They will say its a sort of car pooling, but really it isn’t.

    Wag nyong gawing argument na maayos at safe ang uber vehicles. It’s off topic. Legality ang issue.

    I hope LTFRB sits down with Uber team and sort things out because I like Uber’s services. Pag walang magamit na sasakyan, Uber ang pwedeng maasahan.

  3. Avatar for tataliknow tataliknow says:

    If regulations are followed correctly, there will be no concerns like this. But imposing a faulty regulation, dyan namamatay ang nabubuhay naman ang mga linta sa gobyerno.

  4. Avatar for epiquestions epiquestions says:

    Kaya naman tinira ang UBER dahil nagreklamo sa LTFRB and taxi group. Sana bago magreklamo ang taxi group ayusin muna nila ang mga taxis sa kalye na bulok taxi, madudugas at choosy na driver, madadayang meter, criminal na driver. Hindi UBER ang pumapatay sa kanila kundi ang mga taxi mismo. Ang LTFRB naman obvious na bayaran. Di nga ma regulate mga taxi na yan, pano pa mga bus jeep fx na colorum.

  5. Avatar for Jose Jose says:

    Advantage ng UBer
    1. Safe dahil may tight screening before ka mag apply as Uber Driver. Unlike sa taxi nga na may franchise nga pero yung driver hindi naman regulated. Kung kriminal yung taxi driver malas mo na lang.

    2. May fare estimate ang Uber kung magkano ang aabutin mo bago ka sumakay. Pag sa taxi may mga tampered meter ang gamit.

    3. Ikaw mag specify kung saan ka susunduin. I plot mo lang sa mapa kung saan ka i pickup at ok na. Pag sa taxi mag aabang ka pa.

    4. May resibo thru email ang uber.

    5. Required and comprehensive insurance sa mga Uber Cars. Pag sa regular taxi ba kung na accidente ka ano matutulong sayo ng Taxi Operator?

  6. Avatar for Jose Jose says:

    Haha daming galit dito sa uber ah. Kung namamahalan kayo mag jeep na lang kayo. Ang laking tulong kaya ng uber, since cashless transactions ang uber hindi mo na kailagan problemahin ang pag dala ng pera. Card transactions ang bayaran so safe.

    Pag sa taxi na sinakyan mo karag karag na nga yung sasakyan dudugasin ka pa at minsan bastos pa ang driver. Sa Uber may ranking system sila, kung bastos ang driver isang reklamo mo lang tanggal na sila. Nasubukan nyo na ba tumawag sa LTFRB “May reklamo ka?” hotline?

  7. Avatar for Mang Jose Mang Jose says:

    Haha daming galit dito sa uber ah. Kung namamahalan kayo mag jeep na lang kayo. Ang laking tulong kaya ng uber, since cashless transactions ang uber hindi mo na kailagan problemahin ang pag dala ng pera. Card transactions ang bayaran so safe.

    Pag sa taxi na sinakyan mo karag karag na nga yung sasakyan dudugasin ka pa at minsan bastos pa ang driver. Sa Uber may ranking system sila, kung bastos ang driver isang reklamo mo lang tanggal na sila. Nasubukan nyo na ba tumawag sa LTFRB “May reklamo ka?” hotline?

  8. Avatar for operator operator says:

    death to uber users!!!!!!

  9. Avatar for archie archie says:

    At magkano naman kaya ang binayad ng Grab A Taxi kay Tolentino? Naghahanap lang ng padulas ang mga tagagobyerno kaya ganyan sila sa Uber pero yung libu-libong colorum na jeep at taxi di magawan ng paraan.

  10. Avatar for Peter Peter says:

    Are they not considered as rent a car service?

    Rent a cars, do they need licenses or just business permit?

  11. Avatar for skobadagank skobadagank says:

    yan ang nangyayari kung karamihan sa gobyerno mga kriminal.

  12. Avatar for Onnies Onnies says:

    Relax, illegal naman talaga ang Uber, lahat naman kasi ng “For Rental” na vehicle dapat dilaw ang plaka, eh ang problema private owned ang mga members ng Uber or green ang plaka, in this case dapat sumunod ang Uber, may batas tayong dapat sinusunod, maganda ang sistema, maganda ang appz, hindi kasi biro yung prangkisa na inaaplayan ng mga Operator ng Taxi para lang maging Legal sa kalsada, may mga working naman at Legit tulad ng Uber, andyan ang grabtaxi at iba pa.

  13. Avatar for Easy E Easy E says:

    Uber should apply for a franchise as well.

    • Avatar for oliver mia oliver mia says:

      Para saan yung franchise? Anong benefit?

      Bakit hindi baligtarin –

      “Taxis should not be burden by regulations and by political bureaucracy.”

  14. Avatar for Kit Kit says:

    who owned Gines taxi? Lot of them and new… Who is the LTFRB chaiRman?

  15. Avatar for Rick Rick says:

    I’m sorry but LTFRB got no defense here. Kung regulation lang ang problema, they should adjust if it’s for the good of the people not for themselves. Kung saan sana may safest na way mag commute kahit medyo mahal, yun pa ang pinag iinitan. ISIP Talangka talaga tong gobyernong ito. Gusto ko pa nmn sana i try. Makikitid talaga utak. Monopoly at its best. Backward integration ginagawa.

    Why don’t we do it like Cali. Nag improve sila ng law. They legalized and accepted it.

    • Avatar for oliver mia oliver mia says:

      Yeah, just amend the law for the sake of making it legal. But honestly, they don’t even need to regulate uber. Uber is doing a very good job which is expected of anything that is untouched by the government.

    • Avatar for Mark Mark says:

      Huwag din isip talangka. Conflict yan sa taxi. Nireregulate nga ang pamasahe sa public transportation, heto naman kayo na todo tangkilik sa mas mahal na serbisyo.

      Pag pinayagan ang mga katulad ng Uber, ano pa silbi ng pagkuha ng franchise? Walang franchise, walang regulation. Tataas pamasahe, dadami sasakyan sa kalye, walang liability sayo ang operator / driver dahil walang magpepenalize sa kanila, walang mawawalang franchise.

      Wala akong problema dyan basta gawan muna ng batas. May pagdadaanang proseso.

    • Avatar for oliver mia oliver mia says:


      Mas mahal ang Uber sa taxi pero mas mura ang UberX sa taxi.

      1. Voluntary transaction yun. Walang masama sa pagtangkilik namin sa serbisyo nila. Matatanda na kami para mag decide para kung saan kami sasakay. Hindi namin kailangan ng batas. Wala kama ng problema sa mahal kung mas maginhawa.

      2. Inutil mga batas at ahensiya ng gobyerno ditO kaya taas ng kuryente, pangit internet, mahal tubig, etc. Kapag ang Uber pinadaan mo sa inutil na gobyerno,papangit rin yan.

      3. Malayo quality ng uber sa grab at easy taxi. Walang tanggi sa pasahero. Malinis sasakyan. Walang 24hrs na driver. Sakto sa huling barya ang bayad. Yung iba dyan, tayawagan ka pa para masiguro lang na Maayos pag pick up sa’yo.

      4. Yung pinagmamalaki mong batas regulasyon, pabigat pa sa mga taxi yan. Yung regulatory burden nila, imbes sa improvement ng service o sa pamilya nila napupunta, sa walang kwentang gobyerno lang napupunta.

    • Avatar for epiquestions epiquestions says:


      Ikaw yata ang isip talangka. Eto ang isang safe at secure, comfortable and efficient alternative mode of transportation pero inooppose mo. Choice mo mag taxi, choice din ng iba mag Uber kung kaya ng budget nila. Hindi Uber ang nagpapataas ng pamasahe. Kasalanan ng mga taxi yan kung bakit mas gusto tangkilikin ng iba ang uber. Ayusin nila sasakyan nila, ugali ng mga taxi driver na masungit, kriminal, at namimili ng pasahero. Yan mga ganyang ugali ang isip talangka at hindi ang mga tao na naghahangad ng mas maganda at madaling mode of transportation.

  16. Avatar for oliver mia oliver mia says:

    Uber, lyft, airbnb, etc. are products of innovations being killed by incompetent regulatory bodies around the world.

  17. Avatar for vm vm says:

    does uber have any safeguards to prevent the ff. What if someone uses uber to steal/kill/rape someone? Or what if there is an accident because the driver is drunk/unskilled or the car is not well maintained?

    • Avatar for oliver mia oliver mia says:

      There are no perfect system to prevent those. The things you’ve mentioned can happen in taxis, grabcar, uber or anywhere. If you think that by regulating uber like that of a regular taxi would prevent those then I think you are very out of touch of reality.

      Ast to your second question:

      Drunk – this should fall as a personal responsibility. whether taking a public or private transport, get off if you notice the driver is drunk.

      Unskilled – blame the lto for issuing license to unworthy drivers

      Not well maintained – surely not a case for uber but true to most mode of transport under regulation by ltfrb.

  18. Avatar for tryui tryui says:

    LOL… dameng bulok na sasakyan na gumagalang. ayusin nyo muna ‘yon!

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