Grab Philippines appeals P10-million penalty over ‘illegal’ P2-per-minute charge

Grab Philippines appealed with the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board to reverse the P10-million fine and reimbursement imposed by the agency over the former’s alleged illegal P2-per-minute charge. 

MyTaxi.Ph, the company behind Grab Philippines, in a 27-page motion for reconsideration, asked LTFRB to reverse and set aside the P10-million fine and reimbursement to its passengers for “utter lack of merit.” 

Grab said the LTFRB had no authority under existing laws and jurisprudence to declare Department Order 2015-011 as invalid.  It said LTFRB was merely an attached agency of the issuing department―the Department of Transportation.

“With all due respect, Grab asserts that the Department of Transportation’s DO 2015-011 shall be deemed valid until it is set aside with finality in an appropriate case by a competent court,” Grab said. 

Grab said LTFRB was aware of the P2-per-minute fare component as early as nine months before April 19, 2018, when the agency suspended it. 

“Grab informed the LTFRB about the P2 per minute charge during its technical working group meeting on July 27, 2017 during which Grab presented its business model including its pricing scheme. In addition, Grab sent an e-mail to the LTFRB on Aug. 24, 2017 to provide a written explanation of Grab’s pricing scheme, the receipt of which was duly acknowledged by the LTFRB,” the ride-sharing app said. 

LTFRB earlier 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,” it said.

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 would 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,” LTFRB said.

Topics: Grab Philippines , Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board , Department of Transportation
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