Lawmaker flags criminal violations of Uber, Grab


Posted at Aug 02 2017 04:54 PM | Updated as of Aug 02 2017 05:48 PM

MANILA - Ride-sharing services Uber and Grab face criminal and civil charges for operating without a franchise and violating the constitutional limit on foreign ownership of public utilities, a lawmaker said Wednesday.

Leyte Rep. Vicente Veloso also urged the Bureau of Immigration to prevent Uber director for public policy Damian Kassabgi from leaving the country.

Veloso said the 2 ride-sharing companies' accreditation is not equivalent to a franchise.

"Uber, Grab, you are committing criminal offenses every time nag-o-operate kayo na wala kayong prangkisa (everytime you operate without a franchise)," Veloso told a congressional hearing.

Veloso also raised the ownership of the 2 companies, reminding the House panel that the Constitution limits foreign ownership to 40 percent.

He said the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board was liable for gross negligence for failing to stop the operations of Grab and Uber. 

The LTFRB earlier said Uber and Grab can't bend regulations "too far" and that the two companies must follow transportation laws.