Grab won’t reimburse P2/min. charge to riders: LTFRB

MANILA — The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has ordered ridesharing firm Grab Philippines not to reimburse the PHP2-per-minute charge to its riders.

This, as the Board partially granted the motion for reconsideration filed by Grab on its order that suspended the per-minute charge and imposed a PHP10-million fine issued on July 9 that shall be reimbursed to its riders through future bookings.

“The order directing the respondents to reimburse the riders charged with PHP2 per minute from June 5, 2017 to April 19, 2018 is hereby reversed and set aside for lack of legal basis to support the reimbursement by way of rebate for future riders,” the LTFRB said in its decision released Tuesday.

In the same decision, the Board, however, noted that the PHP10-million penalty against Grab still stands.

Grab earlier said the per-minute charge is in accordance with Department Order 2015-11 of then Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), which authorizes transportation network companies to set their own fares subject to the oversight of the LTFRB.

LTFRB Board Member Aileen Lizada said any penalty that shall be imposed on Grab must take effect only upon the effectivity of Department Order (DO) No. 2017-11, which was issued on June 19, 2017.

DO 2017-11 allows transportation network companies to have pre-arranged fares as authorized by the LTFRB.

“Respondent imposed the travel time rate of PHP2 per minute on June 5, 2017, which was prior to the effectivity of the said Department Order. Thus, it is clear that another DO was needed to supersede DO 2015-11, absent the former, DO 2015-11 remains valid,” Lizada said.

“Simply stated, penalties should be imposed upon effectivity of the regulatory policy,” she added.

The Board earlier said there was no mention of any travel time rate, which Grab has been collecting, when it released its order on the fare structure of transportation network companies (TNCs) on Dec. 27, 2016.

The December 2016 order states that Grab should impose a flag-down rate of PHP40 with an additional rate of PHP10 to PHP14 per km. excluding per-minute travel charges.

Pwersa ng BayaningAtleta party-list Rep. Jericho Nograles has called the attention of Grab over illegal charging of PHP2-per-minute on their rides on top of its flag-down rate of PHP40 and PHP10 to PHP14 per km. charge. (PNA)