Blah Blah Blogs: T*ngina Tuesdays With LTFRB and Uber

For the most of us in the working class in Metro Manila, the importance of comfortable transportation is the only consolation from all the stress and madness of the city life. Ride sharing app like Uber and Grab came in like a prophet of good tidings to bring class and comfort to riders who would like to upgrade from being used to taxi life.

And with just a couple of years it became really popular among the middle class. Though the majority of workers have never tried or even heard of Uber, the drive of demand pushed industries like automotive sales, service and mobile data use on the rise as basics to set up a ride sharing franchise.

Though at first, there was a time that prices would surge as high as four times the fare, people would sacrifice additional amounts but can be assured of a comfortable ride even in traffic. 

That is when the LTFRB came in.

They were actually the good guys back then by saying to the two companies that their rates were overpriced and had set a standard amount in the booking that were made. From that point on, fares were much lower which attracted more riders, like me.

The rise of riders also the rise of need of new drivers, new cars, etc. It was a a booming industry driven my the demands of many millenials, the titos and titas of Manila. 

But the empires of taxis were not happy. They felt the decline of customers despite that the fare for the same start and end point are higher with ride sharing , people prefer a little extra to avoid the taxi horror stories (contracts, rude drivers, additional fare).

The loopholes and weakness of Grab and Uber were exposed and was subject to technicalities, citing that there should be "fairness" between franchised taxis and TNC (Transportation Network Company).  And with some odd push of fate, TNC's Achilles' heel was penetrated with the arrow of envy.

Then things got worse, when both were charged with a fine of P5 Million. Sen. Grace Poe proposed the TNSA (Transportation Network Services Act) to regulate TNC and set a standard for fares and rules. 

But the crackdown became more serious when the LFTRB launched a cease and desist order to Uber just  August 14 suspending them for a month. Uber then deactivated their services at 6AM at August 15. 

With the suspension, the Philippine internet went crazy and hated the LTFRB for the decision made which affected a lot of riders and drivers. Before 12NN the app was up again but eventually it was again unavailable as of this writing.
Now who is to blame? Actually both for me, with LTFRB focused too much on TNCs, the public question now how about the Taxi, buses and jeeps who have grave violations left unpunished. LTFRB suspended a critical transport option so abruptly which left the public with so many inconveniences rather than have transition period to let the public know first and prepare to check other options.
Yes, the majority is still using major public transportation, but usual riders are left with options like using their own vehicle or add to the very crowded public transport which is still in the building process. Despite the concern of the LTFRB to ensure public safety and legal fairness, they really made bad decisions and horrible statements.
As for Uber, despite being the preferred TNC, they turned into a rebel hipster by defying the orders given to them by the board. Accepting new applicant partners, opening services despite the ruling actually puts the drivers and riders at risk. Uber loves to gamble for the sake of their customers, it is scary but they have indeed become a necessity.

But how can you catch an Uber?  Is the LTFRB really became a irrelevant office?

This could have been resolved like civilized men, but both parties are now spoiled brats boxing each other. The real losers are the riding public like me who wished to be home to get some rest now thinking of a new ways to move around the city. As a commuter who spent 3-4 hours on the road to and from work, became an MRT warrior, and braved the elements to work and both of you get my money, I can say T*ngina niyo pong dalawa! I know you can work on these problems without getting the public involved, rather you chose to be the circus of the public and let people be so pissed off and make articles about this.

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