The transportation regulator in the Philippines announced on Friday it was willing to lift a suspension of one month on Uber the ride-hailing company if the company paid a 190 million peso equal to $3.7 million penalty, which is close to 20 times higher than Uber offered to pay.
The LTFRB or Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board said Uber needed to also collectively pay drivers daily 20 million pesos as a financial assistance while the suspension remains in place.
Uber, through a prepared statement, said it was hard at work trying to meet these conditions for lifting the suspension and hopes operations can resume a quickly as possible.
The transportation regulator stopped the operation of Uber for one month beginning August 14 for not heeding the directive to stop receiving new applications for drivers.
Uber, which has said the applications were not processed, late told LTFRB it was able to pay a 10 million pesos fine to lift the suspension.
The freeze on Uber’s operations has attracted a great deal of public attention due to many commuters in the Philippines regarding the company’s service as more reliable as well as competitive than the country’s tradition transport services.
Uber said recently that it had close to 67,000 drivers in the Philippines.
The regulator said its penalty had been calculated by using the length of the time Uber should receive a suspension related to the average income per day.
Citing data Uber submitted, the regulator said its income daily was as much as 10 million pesos that came from up to 150,000 trips.
The regulator’s fine also took into account the other remaining period of the suspension or 19 days, said Aileen Lizada a member of the board of LTRFB.
The lifting of this suspension depends upon the fine being paid as well as remittance of the financial assistance, said Lizada to reporters through a text message.
Uber’s dispute with regulators in the Philippines is just the latest of a number of setbacks in 2017 for the ride hailing firm that has been valued at over $60 billion.
Its suspension in the Philippines caused an increase in demand for Grab, a rival ride-hailing company as well as long lines near malls and offices. It also caused disgruntlement about the need to revert back to using the traditional taxi services.
Grace Poe a Philippine senator and advocate for improving the country’s transportation services attempted to bring officials from Uber and the regulator together for a compromise.