July 22, 2018, 11:54 pm
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Grab fined, told to reimburse riders

The  Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has imposed a P10-million penalty on  ride hailing services firm Grab Philippines for imposing a  P2-per minute charge on its fares without regulatory approval.

In an eight-page order, LTFRB also ordered  Grab to reimburse riders who were charged with the per minute levy between June 5, 2017 and April 19, 2018.

The reimbursement shall be by way of rebate for future rides.

The  rebate will only apply to Grab riders who were charged the time rate of P2 per minute without authority from the board.

The rebate will be availed of only for 20 days from the time the decision becomes final or when the respondent shall commence the implementation of the rebate whichever is earlier.

“This is a case of overcharging, which has a corresponding penalty under existing regulation, mainly under joint administration order (JAO) no. 2014-001,” the LTFRB said.

In the compliance submitted by Grab, the company admitted  it started implementing the P2 per minute fare on June 5, 2017 until its suspension on April 19, 2018.

This covered  millions of rides  which generated hundreds of millions pesos.

“The amount of the rebate shall be limited to the portion of the income of the respondent only, directly related to arising from P2 per minute during the period of its unauthorized imposition,” the order said.

“Applying the above legal principles and jurisprudence in this case respondent failed to impress the board that its imposition of the per minute travel fare is within the purview of its discretion or authority. On the contrary, it was clearly shown that such imposition of respondent (Grab) is invalid and without authority from the board, for which the respondent is to suffer its consequences,” LTFRB said.

LTFRB said Grab can file a motion for reconsideration  within 15 days. Then, if denied by the board, the company  can appeal the case with the Department of Transportation (DOTr).

Last month, DOTr turned over to LTFRB the full authority to regulate and supervise the ride hailing companies.

 Leo Gonzales, Grab public affairs head said the company will reserve its comment for now “until we have fully studied and analyzed the matter with our legal team.”
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