MANILA, Philippines — The Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) wants to put the brakes on the ride-sharing app Tripid and the private car service app Uber for allegedly violating the country’s public service law.
“We will contact them to stop them and they will be called to a public hearing and be issued a show-cause order,” LTFRB chair Winston Ginez told InterAksyon.com.
Tripid is a locally developed mobile application that allows users headed in the same direction to carpool or share the same ride by bidding for empty seats in private vehicles.
Uber, which just formally launched today in the country after having much success in various Western countries, is a mobile application that allows users to flag the company’s partner vehicles through their smartphones.
Ginez said that both companies should have first sought a franchise from LTFRB before operating as they both engage in a public service and therefore the vehicles used through the platform are considered public utility vehicles.
Ginez said that both companies can be held liable for violating the Commonwealth Act No. 146 or the Public Service Law.
“They are a public service and they have to secure a franchise. What they are doing is a criminal violation of the public service law,” Ginez said.
“They are reckless and they should have consulted us first,” Ginez added.
Uber earlier contended that they are a technology company and not a public utility company as they merely provide the platform for riders and drivers.
Ginez, however, said that Uber “is providing a system for someone to violate a law.”
In a telephone interview, Tripid CEO and product manager Mike Ngo Dee declined to comment on the issue.
“I have no comment on that,” Dee said.