Court releases TRO to suspend GrabCar, Uber operations

MANILA, Philippines — The Quezon City Regional Trial Court temporarily stopped the operations of private transport services Uber and GrabCar for 20 days on Friday.

According to press reports, the court issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the Department of Transportation and Communication and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to stop the operations of Uber and GrabCar.

The TRO includes the stopping of accepting, processing and approving of applications of motor vehicles as public utility vehicles accredited and belonging to TNVS.

Petitioner Angat Tsuper Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator ng Pilipinas Genuine Organization Transport Coalition, represented by Pascual Magno, earlier requested for a TRO against the operation of the private transport services.

“The petitioner has established that there is a material and substantial invasion of the rights of the officers and members of the Association as holders of Certificates of Public Convenience necessary for the operation of their utility vehicles,” the resolution read.

The court cited that the petitioner has shown a right to be protected as recipients of franchises, adding that the rights of public utility vehicles have been affected by the operations of Uber and GrabCar.

“Their claim that they suffer less or low incomes and earnings is found to be persuasive due to the sudden and uncontrolled increase in the number of (Transport Network Vehicle Services) utility vehicles running in the streets of Metro Manila,” it stated.

It was previously reported that the leaders of the House of Representatives asked the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to suspend the grant of franchises to transportation network companies (TNCs) such as Uber and GrabCar.

Quezon City Rep. Winston Castelo, chairman of the House committee on Metro Manila development, said there is a need to establish clear rules on the operations of TNCs to protect passengers from fare manipulation and harassment by drivers.

“It takes legislative approval to promulgate guidelines for the accreditation of TNCs, and the authority to provide the guidelines in the operation of TNCs is vested in Congress as provided in Department Order No. 2015-011 of the Department of Transportation and Communications,” Castelo said.

“There should be a standard fare matrix for Uber and GrabCar services,” he said.

GrabTaxi Philippines meanwhile released an official statement regarding the TRO.

“The TRO hasn’t been officially received by neither GrabCar nor the LTFRB. Until we receive the TRO, we will continue to operate as usual.

We are closely coordinating with the government and we are hopeful that we will get their support to be able to provide safe and convenient GrabCar rides in the country. Our commitment towards providing the highest quality of service remains. We will post updates here as soon as there are developments.”

The court has scheduled the hearing of the petitioner’s application for preliminary injunction on December 8.