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Ateneo’s Cielito Habito calls LTFRB’s crackdown on Uber a ‘cruel joke’: What about taxis?

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Former socioeconomic planning secretary Cielito Habito has added his voice to the ranks of Filipinos disgruntled and dismayed by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board’s (LTFRB) decision to suspend the transport network company (TNC) Uber for one month.

Habito, an economics professor at the Ateneo de Manila University, described the penalty meted out by the LTFRB to Uber as a “cruel joke” considering how “it has miserably failed to use its regulatory powers through the years to make its seemingly favored alternative, regular taxis, earn a reputation for safety, not to mention efficiency and comfort.”

While Habito believes Uber should be penalized for activating new drivers despite an order for it to stop, he said it would have been better if the company were just made to pay a hefty fine.

“What is at issue is the “shotgun” penalty the LTFRB has imposed—the suspension that inflicts so much collateral damage far beyond Uber itself—when it could have employed a targeted “rifle” approach like fining the company, heavily if it must,” he said.

Uber has offered to pay a P10-million fine to lift its suspension, as well as offer financial assistance to its affected drivers.