Uber has suspended its services in Philippines for one month after it was suspended by the national regulator.
The country’s Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) ordered a cease and desist against the U.S. ride-hailing firm on Monday over its apparent flouting of a ban on new drivers. The company initially lodged an appeal and continued with its service, but today it confirmed it issued a “temporary” suspension from 7:30 pm local time on Tuesday.
“We are disappointed with the LTFRB’s decision to deny our Motion for Reconsideration, and will comply with the Order. We look forward to urgently resolving this matter, and thank the public for its support over the last 24 hours,” a spokesperson told TechCrunch.
The issues stem back to July when the LTFRB requested that Uber and rival Grab both stop allowing new drivers on to their services to give it time to catch up on a backlog of applications for ride-hailing permits.
The companies were reportedly fined close to $100,000 each for enabling unregistered drivers to work. They were told that they could sign new drivers up, so long as they didn’t hit the roads until the green light was given by authorities. Uber appears to have breached that agreement, while Grab — which remains open as usual in the country — claims that it has not.
Philippines has blossomed into one of the largest ride-hailing markets in Southeast Asia, particularly in capital city Manila. Alongside Singapore, it was one of the first two markets in the region where Uber reached profitability, as TechCrunch reported last year, while the country is understood to account for a sizable portion of revenue for Grab, too.
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