Grab claims unfair treatment over suspension of P2-per-minute charge

Ridesharing firm Grab Philippines has claimed that the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) is being unfair when it suspended the firm’s P2-per-minute travel charge on its riders.

File photo shows Grab Philippines country manager Brian Cu (left) and LTFRB board member Aileen Lizada (right)

In its petition filed before the agency dated May 18, Grab said the suspension of its per minute fare has infringed the “equal protection clause” of the Constitution even as it has allowed other transportation network companies (TNCs) to impose similar charges.

“The Honorable Board’s assailed Order dated 19 April 2018 suspending the petitioner’s imposition of its per minute charge as a component of its fare structure violates petitioner’s right to equal protection of the law since while the Honorable Board suspended such fee imposition by the petitioner, it has allowed other transportation network companies to include the same per minute charge in their respective fare structures,” Grab’s petition read.

The LTFRB has approved the accreditations of ride-hailing firms Hype Transport Systems, Hirna Mobility Solutions., Go Lag, Owto and MiCab following the halt of the operations of Uber as a result of its acquisition by Grab last month.

According to Grab, the agency has approved the fare structures of these new TNCs allowing them to impose per minute charges to their riders.

The suspension will enable drivers and operators belonging to the common supply base to transfer to other TNCs as they are allowed to impose per minute charges, the firm said.

“It is clear that members of the Honorable Board who issued the order suspending the per minute charge of the petitioner have caused undue injury and prejudice to the petitioner,” Grab said.

The firm also said that the filing of a motion for reconsideration will render the LTFRB’s suspension order not executory.

“Since the filing of the Motion for Reconsideration by the petitioner on April 20, 2018 has the effect of staying the April 19, 2018 order, petitioner then has the legal authority to resume the imposition of the P2-per-minute charge pending the resolution of the motion,” Grab said.

The firm has said that it has the authority to formulate their own fare structures in accordance with the Department Order 2015-11 of the then Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC).

The LTFRB has suspended Grab’s per minute charge following the allegations raised by PBA Partylist Rep. Jericho Nograles that Grab is illegally charging P2-per-minute for their rides, on top of its flagdown rate of P40 and charging P10 to P14 per kilometer.

Grab should refund around P1.8 billion to its customers because of the alleged overcharging, Nograles added. — Aerol John Pateña (PNA)

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