Grab: Solon must apologize to our drivers after being ‘proven wrong’
The transport network company (TNC) Grab called on PBA partylist Rep. Jericho Nograles to apologize to its drivers and the riding public after “being proven wrong” by the recent Department of Transportation (DOTr) order regulating ride-hailing fees.
In a statement, Grab legal counsel Miguel Aguila said Department Order 2018-13, which grants the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) full authority to set and supervise fare schemes by TNCs, proved that Nograles “was wrong from the start in claiming that their (P2-per-minute travel charge) was not legal.”
The lawmaker has been critical of Grab since accusing the company of charging “illegal” P2-per-minute travel rates, an allegation that prompted the LTFRB to investigate and later suspend the fees. Grab, however, maintained it was within their authority to impose it under DO No. 2015-11.
Under the previous order, TNCs like Grab were allowed to set their own fare pricing schemes, with the LTFRB acting only on an oversight capacity.
“The new order acknowledges that we were authorized to set our own fares in the past. It is only now that LTFRB will have the authority to approve our fares,” Aguila said.
Nograles’ actions, the lawyer added, led to Grab drivers losing income and being discouraged from driving, resulting in fewer cars on the road. “At the very least, he should apologize to the drivers and the riders for making life more difficult for them unnecessarily and for unknown motivations.”
Reached for comment, Nograles insisted that “what is illegal now was illegal then. Again, Grab tries to distort Department Order 2015-011 in their favor by continually disregarding Executive Order No. 202 s. 1987, Supreme Court Jurisprudence, and most importantly the LTFRB Order that set their fares as of Dec. 27, 2016.”
“Besides, the LTFRB won’t suspend the fares if there is no reason to suspend. And Grab would not be in trouble if there is no question on their hidden charges. If there’s any apology to be made, it should be from Grab for overcharging the public, giving false hopes to the drivers, and blatantly perjuring themselves before the LTFRB and the nation,” the lawmaker stressed.
“The abused interpretation is clearly inconsistent with all laws and jurisprudence in fare setting,” Nograles said. —Krixia Subingsubing and Jerome Aning
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