LTFRB issues show cause order to Grab over unauthorized travel charge


A passenger books public transport from the Grab app. The transport network company (TNC) is in hot water anew after the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) issued a show cause order on why its operations should not be suspended over its unauthorized collection of a P2 per minute travel charge from its passengers on top of the agreed fare. PHOTO BY ANDREA DE LA CRUZ

THE Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board issued a show cause order to Grab Philippines for allegedly charging its passengers P2 per minute of travel on top of the flag down rate and per kilometer fare as a lawmaker has claimed.

“MY TAXIPH, INC (GRAB) is hereby ordered to show cause in writing within a period of five days from receipt of a copy hereof, why its Certificate of Accreditation as a Transportation Network Company should not be suspended or cancelled for allegedly charging P2 per minute of travel time without authority from the Board,” LTFRB said.

“This is on top of its flagdown rate of P40 and charging P10 to P14 per kilometer,” the LTFRB said. Grab received the order on April 11.

The LTFRB order stemmed from a complaint by PBA Party-list Rep. Jericho Nograles who exposed the unauthorized P2 per minute travel charge which, by the lawmaker’s own calculation over the past five months, amounted to P1.8 billion that the TNC owed its passengers.

“Grab charges P2 per minute illegally. They’re not allowed to charge P2 per minute. The LTFRB has not allowed them to charge P2 per minute but they have charged P2 per minute to everyone,” Nograles said.

Grab Philippines Spokesperson Leo Gonzales said that its P2 per minute charges during travel was for its drivers and was approved by the LTFRB.

“The per minute charges were implemented to ensure that despite serious congestion issues on the road on a daily basis, hard-working TNVS (transport network vehicle service) drivers would have a greater chance of making ends meet and supporting their needs,” Gonzales said.

Gonzales cited Department Order 2015-011 that allowed TNCs to set fares under the supervision of the LTFRB.

“During this time, we corresponded with the LTFRB to present these changes and was given the opportunity to present in full our business model, supply and demand models and pricing structure during one of the Technical Working Group meetings in late July 2017,” Gonzales said.

“Per minute charges remain part and parcel of Grab’s fare structure today and we have continuously been transparent about this truth. In fact, during times when questions were raised about fares in certain trips, we would always back compute and provide the basic formula for the same, including the per minute charges,” Gonzales said. REICELENE JOY N. IGNACIO



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