“There is no basis for the fine being imposed by LTFRB. We disagree with the board’s decision and we will file an appeal to protect the ride-sharing industry in the country,” Grab Philippines public affairs head Leo Gonzales said in a statement.
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Grab to appeal LTFRB’s P10-million fine
Catherine Talavera, Romina Cabrera (The Philippine Star) - July 13, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Grab Philippines said it will file an appeal with the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to lift the P10-million fine it imposed on the ride-hailing firm over its P2-per-minute charge for passengers.

“There is no basis for the fine being imposed by LTFRB. We disagree with the board’s decision and we will file an appeal to protect the ride-sharing industry in the country,” Grab Philippines public affairs head Leo Gonzales said in a statement.

Last Tuesday, the LTFRB ordered Grab Philippines to pay the P10-million fine for charging its passengers an additional P2-per-minute on top of the approved fare.

Gonzales said the company is standing by the legality of the P2-per-minute charge.

“Grab’s basis in imposing the P2 per minute fare is the (Department of Transportation) Department Order 2015-011 that authorized (transport network companies or TNCs) to set their own fare. This DO is binding when Grab implemented the P2-per-minute component in June 2017,” he said.

He added that the per-minute fare was also part of the presentation and discussions during Grab’s technical working group meeting with the LTFRB en banc in July 2017.

Gonzales stressed that this was also communicated to the LTFRB chairman via email on Aug. 14, 2017.

“We likewise received an email response from the Office of the Chairman. No concerns were raised by the board at that time,” Gonzales said.

In April, the LTFRB ordered the suspension of the P2-per-minute charge, saying they did not approve the additional charges.

Gonzales emphasized that the DO is valid despite the position of the LTFRB to the contrary.

“LTFRB has no authority to declare the DOTr order invalid. Only the courts, not LTFRB, can rule on the validity of an order especially one issued by DOTr, which has direct supervision and control over the LTFRB,” he said.

Gonzales pointed out that there is no overcharging since Grab shows fixed fares before bookings are confirmed.

Delgra: No pressure

LTFRB chairman Martin Delgra said yesterday there was no political pressure to impose a fine on Grab, adding that they decided the case based on its merits and without any outside pressure.

Aside from imposing the fine, the LTFRB also ordered Grab to reimburse, by way of rebates, passengers who were affected by the additional charge.

Delgra clarified that the public can only ask for rebates on the 20-percent commission of Grab on its per-minute charge and not the whole fee.

The case stemmed from Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta party-list Rep. Jericho Nograles’ allegation that Grab amassed at least P1.8 billion from the additional charge.

LTFRB board member Aileen Lizada sided with Grab on the issue, saying there were “technicalities” that made the P2-per-minute charge legal.

GRAB PHILIPPINES LAND TRANSPORTATION FRANCHISING AND REGULATORY BOARD
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