Grab didn’t cheat: P1.8B overcharge approved by DOTC’s Abaya in 2015
Dominant ridesharing firm Grab Philippines has justified its fare structure following a legislator’s call for it to refund at least P 1.8 billion in alleged illegal charges.
Grab said its P 2 per minute charge was in accordance with the order of the then Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) which was led by then Secretary Jun Abaya in 2015 which allows transportation network companies (TNCs) to set its own fares with the oversight of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).
“Department Order 2015-011 allowed TNCs to set its own fares with the oversight of the LTFRB. In June 2017, Grab, upon review of its pricing structure, initiated per minute pricing of pesos. This was integrated to the existing per km (kilometer) charges and is not added to the upfront fares,” Grab Philippines Public Affairs Head Leo Gonzales said in a statement Wednesday.
“The per minute charges were implemented to ensure that despite serious congestion issues on the road on a daily basis, hardworking TNVS (transportation network vehicle services) drivers would have a greater chance of making ends meet and supporting their needs,” he added.
Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) Partylist Rep. Jericho Nograles accused Grab of illegally charging P2 per minute for their rides, on top of its flagdown rate of P40 and charging P10 to P14 per kilometer.
Nograles alleged that the illegal charges of Grab amounted to P 1.8 billion during the past five months alone.
Grab has presented its business model; supply and demand models; and pricing structure in a meeting with the LTFRB on July 2017.
“Per minute charges remain part and parcel to 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,” according to Gonzales.