Saturday, August 26, 2017

FINALLY: LTFRB asks UBER to pay discounted ₱190 Million to lift the remaining 2 weeks Suspension

UBER System Inc., Philippines
Drivers and operators of UBER System Inc., gather and meet outside its main office in Mandaluyong City, August 15 2017, a day after the Land Transportation and Franchising and Regulatory Board suspended its accreditation and operation. Photo: Manila Bulletin 

The LTFRB late Friday night (25th August 2017) announced granting Uber’s appeal to lift the one-month suspension and pay instead a fine to make up for repeatedly violating the regulatory body’s order not to accept new drivers.

Rejecting the suggestion of the Kilusan sa Pagbabago ng Industriya ng Transportasyon (KAPIT) chairman Vigor Mendoza II that UBER should pay ₱6 Billion pesos, LTFRB finally decided a discounted amount that UBER should pay to lift the remaining 2 weeks of suspension.

“The Board thus rule to grant the prayer of respondent (Uber) to lift the suspension imposed in its order of 14 August 2017; in lieu thereof, imposes a fine of ₱190 million Philippine pesos,” the order, signed August 25, 2017, read.

In addition to the fine, Uber was told to remit ₱20 million as assistance to its 36,367 transport vehicle network service (TNVS) operators who were active in the last 28 days before the suspension order was issued. The ride-sharing company should show the LTFRB a certification from its depository bank as proof of its compliance.

 “The lifting of suspension will depend on the payment of fine and remittance of financial assistance,” LTFRB spokesperson Aileen Lizada told reporters in a text message..

Lizada said the ₱190 million fines was based on the average ₱7-10 million Uber earns from its 150,000 ridership per day, multiplied by the remaining days of suspension which was supposed to be effective until  September 14, 2017.

After facing off with LTFRB officials in a dialogue at the Senate, Uber on August 17, 2017 filed an appeal to the LTFRB to revoke its suspension, proposing that it pays a fine of greater amount than the ₱5 million earlier imposed on it for continuing to accept and activate TNVS operators under its platform despite the July 26, 2016 moratorium.

The regulator halted Uber’s operations for a month from Aug. 14, 2017 for disregarding a directive to stop accepting new driver applications.

Uber, which said it did not process those applications, later told the LTFRB it could pay a fine of ₱10 million Philippine pesos to get the suspension lifted.

The Uber freeze has attracted public attention because many Philippine commuters regard the ride hailing app as more reliable and competitive than mainstream transport services (TAXIs).

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Uber recently said it had nearly 67,000 Philippine drivers.

The dispute with the Philippine regulator is the latest setback this year to Uber (USA based firm), a firm valued at more than $60 billion US Dollars.

Its Philippines suspension caused a spike in demand for rival Grab, and long queues near offices and malls and some disgruntlement about reverting to using regular taxis.

Philippine Senator Grace Poe, a prominent advocate for improving transport services, tried to bring Uber and LTFRB officials together to work out a compromise. An executive of Uber apologized for its "misunderstanding".

Poe on Friday said the hefty fine should "make Uber rethink its actions and re-evaluate its strategy in testing the extent of government regulations."

The LTFRB last year suspended applications for ride-share operators, to work out how best to regulate the industry. It said Uber was "irresponsible" for challenging that order.

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Friday, August 25, 2017

Racist Canadian Woman Viral for Harassing Elderly Filipino Couple in Canada


Racist Canadian woman in action, other Canadian passengers defended the Filipino couple
Racist Canadian woman in action, other Canadian passengers defended the Filipino couple. Photo: nextshark.com

Metro Vancouver Transit Police is now investigating the case of a viral video showing a racist 75-year-old Westminster woman verbally abusing an elderly couple from the Philippines on the SkyTrain.

The incident happened on the Millennium Line on Aug. 21 between the stations Sperling/Burnaby Lake and Brentwood Town Centre in Vancouver, Canada, The Georgia Straight reported. The authorities have now launched an investigation after a review of the video “determined that the aggressor in this situation had used profane and racially slanted language toward the elderly couple.”

The racial tirade of the woman began after hearing the elderly Filipino couple speaking Tagalog.

According to Paula Correa, the witness who managed to catch some of the incident on video, the racist woman interrupted the elderly couple’s conversation after hearing them speak in Tagalog and told them to be quiet, Global News reported.

The tirade eventually led the unnamed woman to telling the Filipino couple to, “go back to the f—ing Philippines,” and further telling them, “If you decide to live in this country, you should learn how to speak English.”

Video: Racist Canadian woman in action, other Canadian passengers defended the Filipino couple. Photo: facebook.com

Interestingly enough, most Filipinos are actually bilingual. English is one of the two commonly used and official language in the Philippines alongside the country’s national dialect, Tagalog.

“We speak both English and Tagalog or whatever dialect we speak. It’s ridiculous how ignorant people are. The couple was replying to [her] perfectly well in English,” Correa said.

Many people joined in to defend the elderly couple. One man tried to defend them but the racist woman switched her aggression towards him and assaulted him verbally as well.

The woman cursed at the couple right before leaving the train, Correa said. And some people even heard her yelling after the door closed.

The unnamed woman, according to the news released by the authorities, is known to the police for having anger-related issues.  Read more at NextShark

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