July 22, 2018, 11:53 pm
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Grab fined P10M

THE Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has slapped a P10-million fine on Grab Philippines – which, despite its name, is essentially a foreign corporation -- for overcharging its passengers through the imposition of a P2 per minute travel or waiting charge.

The fine will redound to the national treasury, and on top of this, the company was ordered to reimburse its passengers by way of rebates for customers who used Grab’s TNV services from June 2016 to April 2017.  The electronic receipt system should be put to good use in the customers’ push to avail themselves of the refund.

Rep. Jericho Nograles, who obviously was doing his job as lawmaker, was the one who called the attention of LTFRB on the P2 per minute overcharge, saying this item was not approved by the LTFRB.  

On the issue of fine and rebate, Grab may file a motion for reconsideration within 15 days.

Nograles said what happened was tantamount to large-scale estafa, noting that the LTFRB order confirms that Grab indeed engaged in charging more than it is allowed, affecting some 67 million rides from the middle of 2016 up to April 2017.  

He added that the company lied and cheated on the consumers and drivers, and warned all other Transport Network Vehicles (TNVs) to follow the law or be exposed and pay the price.

The people managing Grab, however, have insisted that the LTFRB erred in categorizing their act as illegal, and proceeded to cite a 2015 department order of the Department of Transportation and Communication as basis for their fare charges. 

Look what Noynoy Aquino’s DOTC left us with -- corruption and inefficiency in the trains, and now, this.

As things stand, it is likely that a motion for reconsideration will be filed and later rejected, and the issue will reach the higher courts, all the way to the Supreme Court.

This would mean a little more waiting time for Grab customers, who are reeling under increased costs of personal transportation, before they finally receive the rebates mandated by the LTFRB.

Meantime, a proposed legislation to rationalize the operations of the TNVs industry, an infant one and thus expected to be messy and prone to abuse, is pending in the House of Representatives.  The other chamber, the Senate, should pitch in to have this bill approved.
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