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As Grab admits that unregistered senior citizens are not given discounts

Solons threaten to revoke Grab franchise if services don’t improve

/ 02:40 PM May 30, 2019
Solons threaten to revoke Grab franchise if services don't improve

A commuter books a ride via ride-hailing app Grab in Manila. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / RICHARD A. REYES

MANILA, Philippines — Lawmakers from the House committee on Metro Manila development have threatened to push for the revocation of Grab Philippines’ franchise after reports that senior citizens are not given discounts if they are not registered users.

During a hearing on Thursday, Senior Citizen Rep. Francisco Datol Jr. said that they have received complaints from senior citizens that Grab is not adhering to the Republic Act 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010.

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“Ang Grab, walang puso.  Wala kaming 20 percent sa inyo, ang daming reklamo sa amin ipapakita ko sa inyo.  Pagbutihin niyo dahil sa susunod na Kongreso, tandaan niyo ho ito ang senior citizen dito sa Kongreso, 121, meron kaming bilang para tanggalin ang prangkisa niyo,” Datol told Grab representatives attending the House hearing.

“Kaya kailangan, itama ninyo ang mali,” he added.

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This prompted Negros Oriental 3rd District Rep. Arnulfo Teves Jr. to question Grab Public Affairs Manager lawyer Nicka Hosaka whether seniors are given discounts by Grab even if they are booked using their grandchildren’s accounts

“Kung ang nag-book, apo, because usually, a lot of senior citizens are not so techie hindi na ‘yan nag-aapp.  ‘Pag sakay, ‘yong lola ang sumakay.  Does the lola get the discount?” Teves asked.

“If she is registered,” Hosaka replied.

However, Teves demanded a straight yes-or-no answer from Grab, forcing Hosaka to admit that they do not give discounts if the accounts used are not from a senior citizen.

“Right there po, no sir,” she said.

The lawmaker called on representatives of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to take note of the admission, and check how many violations Grab has incurred already.

“So that’s a violation, LTFRB, you heard it on record, they are doing a violation, automatic dapat ‘yong discount ng senior citizen.  So please take note of that and please charge them with their violation,” Teves said.

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“I’d like LTFRB to report to this committee the number of violations that they did, and also including Grab Food, and the owners of the restaurant because if the lola is asking the apo to order (food), pagkatapos kumain dapat may discount sa lola.  Sa kanila parang hindi,” he added.

Under Section 4 of R.A. 9994, senior citizens are entitled to 20 percent discounts and exemption to value added tax when riding land public transportation — which now includes transport network providers like Grab.

Grab, at present, is only catered to customers who would register with the app.  Still, Hosaka clarified that they have measures in place to ensure that senior citizens would be given discounts — if they registered as Grab users.

“If the senior citizen is a passenger, meron po siyang pwedeng i-register sa application, automatic na merong 20 percent discount ang senior citizens natin.  Very quick po, mabilis lang po sa application natin, tapos rereflect na natin sa system natin ‘yan in three days,” she explained.

However, the app which is downloadable using smartphones, requires some steps including the provision of e-mail addresses.  These things that might be hard to comprehend for most elderly Filipinos.

LTFRB representatives, on the other hand, said this is not the first time this issue was aired to them — prompting Marikina 1st District Rep. Bayani Fernando to ask the agency whether it still needs congress to monitor transport service providers.

“So we need congress, we still need congress for LTFRB to know these things?” Fernando asked. (Editor: Jonathan P. Vicente)

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TAGS: franchise, Grab, Grab Philippines, House, Local news, Philippine news update, Transportation
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