Lawmaker accuses Grab of charging ‘illegal’ P80 minimum fare

Aika Rey
Lawmaker accuses Grab of charging ‘illegal’ P80 minimum fare
PBA Representative Jericho Nograles says the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board did not authorize this minimum fare

MANILA, Philippines – PBA Representative Jericho Nograles on Monday, May 28, claimed ride-hailing company Grab Philippines is charging an “illegal” minimum fare of P80.

In a statement, Nograles said this minimum fare was not authorized by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).

“Without any public hearing, Grab Philippines again unilaterally imposed a new illegal fare condition. [D]uring the April 17 LTFRB hearing, Grab Philippines denied to the board that they impose an P80 minimum fare,” Nograles said.

In December 2016, the LTFRB regulated transport network companies’ fares, allowing Grab to charge a flagdown rate of P40, with an additional P10 to P14 per kilometer.

“Now, no less than the Grab app publicly declares that the company charges the same minimum fare. This brazen act shows not only disrespect to the regulators, but proof that Grab Philippines has no intention to follow Philippine laws,” Nograles said.

“This is a usurpation of the powers of the LTFRB and this is a violation of our existing laws. Just because they now have a virtual monopoly of our TNVS (transport network vehicle services) sector, they can now violate our laws by setting their own fare rates?” he added.

Under the information card on the Grab app, its sedan and 6-seater vehicles for hire charge a minimum of P80 per ride, while the premium cars start at P125.

Nograles said that under the approved fare structure, a rider should only be charged a maximum of P68 for a 500-meter ride at a surge rate of times two. It should not be at P80, he said.

The lawmaker earlier accused Grab of illegally charging its customers P2 per minute on top of its government-approved pricing scheme. (READ: Did Grab ‘illegally’ charge its riders higher fare?)

He said the ride-hailing company owes its riders a refund of at least P1.8 billion for a 5-month period.

A hearing on the matter is set for Tuesday, May 29. Grab has yet to issue a statement on Nograles’ new accusation.

Meanwhile, LTFRB Board Member Aileen Lizada said she is unaware of the P80 minimum fare.

“Not that I know of. [I] will check,” Lizada told reporters.

Grab still dominates the Philippine ride-hailing market after the exit of Uber last April. The LTFRB recently approved 5 new companies that would challenge Grab, but most have yet to be operational in Metro Manila. (READ: How much are the fares of new ride-hailing apps?– Rappler.com

Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at aika.rey@rappler.com.