Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) Party-list Rep. Jericho Nograles today said the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) should make sure that Grab Philippines would pay its multi-million fines and refund their riders without passing on their financial obligations to their drivers.
Nograles said that tens of thousands of Grab drivers, most of whom are still paying for the amortization of their vehicles, are barely surviving because of Metro Manila’s traffic condition and Grab’s excessive profiteering.
” The drivers are the biggest victims of Grab’s abusive business practices. Drivers work like slaves just to cope up with the high commission being charged by Grab from them.
They should not be the one shouldering the fines imposed by the PCC.
Habang halos 24 oras silang namamasada, hayahay lang at sarap buhay lang nararanasan ng management ng Grab. ”
Nograles said. It was Nograles who brought the issue of Grab’s excessive overcharging of fares and other malpractices to the LTFRB and the PCC.
This prompted the LTFRB to slap Grab last July, 2018 with a P10 Million fine and order the ride-hailing firm to reimburse the excess fares that they have been collecting.
This was appealed by Grab and the LTFRB decided to reduce its penalty by paying only the P10 Million fine.
There has been no word since then if Grab has actually paid the P10 Million fine.
LTFRB’s action was followed by the another order issued by the PCC on January, 2019 requiring Grab to pay P6.5 Million in fines for incorrect pricing data.
Grab appealed and it is unclear if it had already paid the fine. Last Monday, the PCC issued another order slapping Grab with an P18.4 Million in direct fine and P5.05 Million in refund, or a total of P23.45 Million, for overcharging its riders.
Nograles said that this latest PCC decision affirms his position that Grab has been overcharging not only its passengers but also its drivers.
Nograles said that while Grab issued a statement that they will comply with the refund of P5.05M to the riders, it remains unclear how and when they will refund. It is also unclear on how Grab would source its fines.
“I sincerely hope that Grab will not increase the commissions they collect from drivers so they can pay their fines,” Nograles added.
” We thank the LTFRB and PCC for being the watchdogs, bantay ng bayan.
However, the fight is not over yet.
The LTFRB and the PCC should strictly monitor Grab’s compliance because there is a big possibility that it would pass on the burden to its drivers.
We should not allow this to happen,” Nograles said. He said he would also ask the LTFRB and the PCC if the previous fines imposed on Grab have already been paid.
Nograles also called on the LTFRB and the PCC to scrutinize Grab’s commission arrangement with its drivers.
He noted that the ride-hailing company has been squeezing their drivers dry because excessive commissions and other charges.
“Since the merger with Uber, the commissions to Grab have increased and remain unregulated.
This commission scheme is also monopolistic and subject to abuse against the interest of the driver,” Nograles noted.