Uber operations suspended in the Philippines for a month

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MANILA (Reuters) – The Philippines on Monday suspended the accreditation and operation of Uber for one month, in a decision that followed a government crackdown on unregistered drivers offering app-based ride-hailing services.

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) did not give a reason for its decision, which came amid regulatory disputes with Uber and rival Grab that have prompted investigations by both chambers of Philippine Congress.

The LTFRB issued an advisory saying its board has also “strongly recommended” that the ride-hailing company extend financial assistance to accredited operators while it is under suspension.

The regulator said transport law enforcers have already been furnished copies of its order.

Extending financial assistance will be “an expression of good faith as their accredited peer-operators would not have suffered the current predicament were it not for the predatory actions of respondent Uber,” the LTFRB said.

A company spokesman said Uber was “studying the order”.

The Southeast Asian nation was the first country to regulate app-based car-hailing operations after drawing up rules in 2015.

Last year the LTFRB suspended the acceptance and processing of applications for all ride-sharing services, including Uber and Grab, to study further how to regulate the industry.

But both companies said they continued to accept new drivers amid strong demand for the service, resulting in a surge in the number of unregistered drivers.

(Reporting by Enrico dela Cruz, editing by David Evans)

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