Grab to ap­peal P10-M LTFRB fine

Business World - - CORPORATE NEWS - Denise A. Valdez

GRAB Philip­pines (My­Taxi.PH) said it will ap­peal the P10-mil­lion fine im­posed by the Land Trans­porta­tion Fran­chis­ing and Reg­u­la­tory Board (LTFRB) for al­leged over­charg­ing.

In a state­ment on Thurs­day, the ride-hail­ing com­pany de­nied over­charg­ing cus­tomers, say­ing its mo­bile app re­flected “fixed and up­front fares be­fore book­ings are con­firmed.”

“We ap­peal to the Board to fo­cus on re­solv­ing the sup­ply gap im­me­di­ately, as we in turn work hard to con­tin­u­ously im­prove our over­all ser­vice,” the com­pany said.

Grab said the sus­pen­sion of the P2 per minute wait­ing time charge is “in­vari­ably linked” to the cur­rent dif­fi­culty in book­ing rides.

“Loss of driver in­come, plus a se­vere lack in sup­ply af­fects the pub­lic ser­vice be­ing ren­dered by our driver-part­ners. Many peo­ple are get­ting stranded on the road be­cause they can’t book a ride,” it added.

On July 9, the LTFRB slapped a P10mil­lion fine on the com­pany for al­legedly over­charg­ing its pas­sen­gers and or­dered it to re­im­burse the P2 per minute wait­ing time charge it im­ple­mented from June 5, 2017 to April 19. It in­sisted the P2 per minute com­po­nent is in­valid and was rolled out with­out ap­proval from the LTFRB Board.

Grab said the Of­fice of the Chair­man was in­formed of the fare struc­ture. “We like­wise re­ceived an e-mail re­sponse from the Of­fice of the Chair­man. No con­cerns were raised by the Board at that time,” it said.

But LTFRB Chair­man Martin B. Del­gra III told re­porters on Thurs­day that an e-mail re­sponse from his of­fice can­not be seen as ap­proval of the fare struc­ture.

“The board is go­ing to de­cide as to whether we are go­ing to grant a fare in­crease or not. It’s the Board who’s go­ing to de­cide, and that’s ba­si­cally what hap­pened to the taxi fare, to the PUJ,” he said.

Grab has 15 days to file a mo­tion for re­con­sid­er­a­tion on the LTFRB or­der for the date it was is­sued. If de­nied, it may then for­ward its ap­peal to the De­part­ment of Trans­porta­tion. —

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