LTFRB cancels order for Grab to refund P2-per-minute charge

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has rescinded its order on ridesharing firm Grab Philippines to reimburse the P2-per-minute charge to its riders.

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

This, as the agency granted the motion for reconsideration filed by Grab on the LTFRB’s order directing the ride-sharing firm to reimburse the P2-per-minute charge for future bookings and imposing a P10-million fine.

“The order directing the respondents to reimburse the riders charged with P2 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, Sept. 4.

In the same decision, the LTFRB noted, however, that the P10-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 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 2015-11, 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 agency 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 P40 with an additional rate of P10 to P14 per km. excluding per-minute travel charges.

Pwersa ng Bayaning Atleta party-list Rep. Jericho Nograles called the attention of Grab over “illegal charging” of P2-per-minute on their rides on top of its flag-down rate of P40 and P10 to P14 per km. charge. — Aerol John Pateña (PNA)

Comment on this post