Grab insists P2-per-minute charge 'legal'
MANILA, Philippines – Several hours after it was fined P10 million, ride-hailing company Grab Philippines maintained that its P2-per-minute fare charge is legal.
In a statement late Tuesday, July 10, Grab Philippines head Brian Cu cited a 2015 Department of Transportation (DOTr) order which allows transport network companies to change fares on their own.
"We stand by the legality of the P2 per minute fare component and we are disappointed by the order of LTFRB. We would like to reiterate that it is legal, pursuant to the DO 2015-011," Cu said.
Grab said it is studying its legal options given the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) July 9 order fining the company. (READ: Did Grab 'illegally' charge its riders higher fare?)
"We are currently studying our legal options regarding LTFRB's order. But no matter how we decide to move forward from this, be assured, Grab will stay," Cu added.
But Grab can still appeal the order within 15 days.
Following a December 2016 order, Grab Philippines can only charge a flagdown rate of P40 and an additional P10 to P14 per kilometer.
While LTFRB Board Member Aileen Lizada signed the July 9 order, she dissented from the majority opinion of the Board.
Lizada pointed out that another department order is needed to repeal DO 2015-11.
DO 2017-11 was issued on June 19, 2017, which allowed TNCs to have a "pre-arranged fare as authorized by the LTFRB."
Grab implemented the P2-per-minute fare component on June 5, 2017, which means that the travel charge was rolled out prior to DO 2017-011.
"Respondent imposed the travel time rate of P2 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] 2015-011, absent the former, [DO] 2015-011 remains valid," Lizada wrote in her dissenting opinion.
But the board member said that administrative sanctions must be imposed after the effectivity of DO 2017-011.
"Simply stated, penalties should be imposed upon effectivity of the regulatory policy," Lizada added.
Grab dominates the Philippine ride-hailing market after the exit of Uber last April. – Rappler.com