Grab owes gov’t P15B in fines for overcharging 3M riders — Party-list solon Nograles
By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN
Party-list Cong. Jericho Nograles (PBA) urged the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to take its cue from the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) and slap a P15-Billion fine on Grab Philippines for allegedly overcharging its 3-million riders.
Nograles explained that the declaration of Grab Philippines that it will comply with the order of the PCC which slapped the ride-hailing company with P23.45 million in fines “is a direct admission that it has been charging excessive fares from 3-million riders from February to May of 2019.”
“This should translate to a total of P15 billion in fines because under the the Joint Administrative Order 2014-01 of the Department of Transportation (DOTR), each offense committed merits a fine of P5,000,” said Nograles
“Grab made a direct admission of 3 million offenses and under the JAO 2014-01, each offense merits a fine of P5,000. Therefore, Grab should be liable for P15-billion worth of fines,” he added.
According to Nograles, if Grab will not be charged as such, then “It can be argued that Grab is being favored, tantamount to graft.”
“The jeepney driver, tricycle, taxi they pay the P5,000 fine but Grab won’t?” Nograles asked.
Nograles said the P15 billion fine which the government can collect from Grab can already cover expenses for the Southeast Asian Games.
The party-list solon also stressed that the LTFRB should make it a point that Grab would solely shoulder the fines because the ride-hailing company is already making a killing not only from its riders but also from its drivers.
“The fines and penalties meted to Grab is due to their unilateral imposition of unauthorized fares on the rider. There should also be regulation on Grab’s capability of unilaterally dismissing, controlling, and collecting charges from drivers,” said Nograles.
The PCC decision to slap Grab with P23.45 million in fines—P18.4 million in direct fines and P5.05 million in refund for its riders—was not contested according to Nograles and Grab even announced that it would comply with the ruling of the anti-trust body.
“Grab’s acceptance of the PCC ruling should already serve as a basis for the LTFRB to slap fines against Grab for overcharging because after all, fare regulation is its primary mandate,” said Nograles.