Ex-MMDA traffic chief says Uber needs gov?t permission

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uber manila Yves Gonzalez, a lawyer and former MMDA traffic director credited for launching various IT-related projects at the agency including the popular MMDA Traffic Navigation App, said on Twitter that Uber needs to conduct a dialogue with the LTFRB over its operations in the country. ?As a person who loves Uber’s service and a former traffic director, I feel that the facts are not clear to people. LTFRB’s performing their mandate of going after unfranchised operations,? Gonzalez said. He noted that Uber ?so far hasn’t secured a franchise for their services, especially UberX, which allows private cars to engage in the business of public transportation.? Gonzalez said LTFRB can be held liable for dereliction of duty if it would just ignore Uber?s unregulated service. ?Uber (and similar services) should secure a franchise or a memorandum circular from LTFRB, to ensure that public interest is protected,? he said. He noted: ?Uber should talk to and not ignore government regulators as they do (globally).? Gonzalez said the law requires a common carrier to secure a franchise to allow the government to protect commuters. ?Imagine if a colorum operator decides to circumvent law by making a booking app, calling it RideMoTo, then totally fails to protect riders.? ?I support Uber?s goal of fixing an outdated and broken industry. But processes for the protection of the riding public should still be followed,? he said. For its part, Uber said it regretted that the LTFRB chose to impound Uber-associated vehicles for at least three months and penalize owners of fines reaching P200,000. Below is the statement sent by Uber to InterAksyon.com:

?Uber has been embraced in 222 cities in 45 countries around the world, and in many of those cities we are challenging outdated (pre-mobile era) regulations that are unable to keep up with technological advancement. ?Uber is committed to put the interest of consumers and their communities as priority by bringing something fresh and new to a sector that is characterized by stagnation. Safe, reliable, and convenient transportation options ? something that Filipinos have been demanding for a long time now. ?We are disappointed that the government has taken action against a technology service that is better for riders, drivers and the community. Around the world, Uber is working with governments to achieve common goals, focused on safe, reliable and efficient transportation options, that are regulated. It is our mission to work with like-minded individuals to encourage new policies that welcome innovation and improve transportation options while putting consumer safety and driver opportunity first for all Filipinos.?

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