The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board has ordered Grab Philippines to pay P10 million in penalties and to reimburse its passengers for imposing a two-pesos-per-minute charge.
The agency said Grab Philippines “failed to impress the Board that its imposition of the per- minute travel fare rate is within the purview of its discretion or authority.”
“On the contrary, it was clearly shown that such imposition of Respondent TNC [Grab Philippines] is invalid and without authority from the Board for which the Respondent is to suffer its consequences, the agency said.
“This is a case of overcharging, which has a corresponding penalty.”
Grab Philippines said it “will reserve comment for now until we have fully studied and analyzed the matter with our legal team.”
The LTFRB ordered Grab Philippines to reimburse the riders who were charged P2 per minute from June 5, 2017 to April 19, 2018.
The Board said the reimbursement should be by way of rebate on future rides, and the rebate will only apply to Grab riders who were charged the time rate of P2 per minute without authority from the board.
“The amount of the rebate shall be limited to the portion of the income of the respondent only, directly related to or arising from P2 per minute during the period of its unauthorized imposition,” the Board said.
Grab Philippines earlier said its fares were “legal and upfront“ and covered by a Department of Transportation Order in 2015 which allowed Transport Network Companies to set their own fares.
Leo Gonzales, head of Grab Philippines Public Affairs, had said even the LTFRB had confirmed this in a February 2016 decision.