Grab Philippines fined for overcharging, vows to challenge ruling

Photo: Grab's Facebook page

Grab Philippines said it is studying its legal options regarding the regulator’s decision to fine the company P10 million ($187,000) for charging passengers additional per minute fee on top of its approved rates.

In a statement posted on its social media page, Grab Philippines stood on its claim that the implementation of the P2 ($0.04) per minute fare component is legal.

Grab made the statement after receiving the decision of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), the country’s transportation regulator.

“We stand by the legality of the P2 pesos per minute fare component and we are disappointed by the order of LTFRB. We would like to reiterate that it is legal,” the company said.

Under the government-approved fare scheme issued in December 2016, Grab Philippines can only charge a flagdown rate of P40 and an additional P10 to P14 per kilometer.

But Grab said that the additional charge was “legal” and that LTFRB knew about it.

“We are currently studying our legal options regarding LTFRB’s order. But no matter how we decide to move forward from this, be assured, Grab will stay,” the company said.

In its July 9 order, the LTFRB has asked Grab Philippines to pay P10 million in penalties for overcharging and to reimburse its passengers by way of rebate.

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

The LTFRB also ordered Grab Philippines to submit a report of compliance of the decision one week from the time to the rebate has been fully implemented, under “pain of additional penalty for non-compliance”.

Grab assured its driver-partners and passengers that it remains “fully committed to ensuring quality of service to passengers and fair income opportunities for its driver partners”.

“We know that there’s still a lot of things to improve on,” the company said.

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.