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Grab: PCC fine not due to ‘overcharging’

/ 02:03 PM November 22, 2019

MANILA, Philippines —  Grab Philippines on Friday said “overcharging” was not the reason behind the P23.45 million-fine imposed on them by the Philippine Competition Commission’s (PCC).

According to Grab Philippines President Brian Cu, they have been compliant with the fare matrix set by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) but “uncontrollable factors” such as supply of transport network vehicle services (TNVS), booking demand, and traffic conditions “hindered us from maintaining the fare-in-range levels set by the PCC.”

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“I wanna take away that we are overcharging because we did not overcharge – it was the deviation in the voluntary commitment on pricing,” Cu told INQUIRER.net following a press conference in Mandaluyong City.

Grab Philippines issued the clarification amid reports that “overcharging” was the reason behind the fine imposed against them.

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Explaining the concept of fare-in-range, Cu said their pricing should stay within a certain level in the range.

“It means that there is a fare range depending on the regulations at that time and our pricing needs to be at a section within that range–could be either 20 to 60 percent of that range – you can’t go all the way to the end of that range,” Cu said.

“Now because of the changes in the regulations on pricing during that period of monitoring, the range shifted but our pricing stayed within a certain level within the range but were at the upper bound of that range which deviated from the commitment,” he added.

Further, Cu said: “Kumbaga dapat nasa gitna ka ng range, ang nangyari, umakyat kami into the sort of the upper bound of that range.”

(Let’s say we should be in the middle section of the range, what happened was we reached the upper bound of the range.)

“We did not violate the range – the upper bound of that range which is the LTFRB upper bound. It was just within the percentages within the range which we deviated on which is the reason we got fined,” he also said.

Grab Philippines earlier announced it will abide by the PCC order and pay a fine amounting to P23.45 million – of which P5.05 million would be refunded to passengers, who took rides from February until May 2019.

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The ride-hailing firm said it would solely shoulder the payment of the fine.

“During the course of the review which began last April 2018, we believe that we have explained these factors to the PCC and articulated its potential effect on our current pricing which will ultimately be detrimental to the driving and the riding public,” Cu said.

“However, we respect the decision of the board, and we will be disbursing the amount to the GrabPay wallets of consumers who took Grab rides from February to May 2019,” he added.

Cu said the consumer refund will be computed based on the “total spend” of a passenger from February to May 2019.

Passengers who would receive refunds will also be informed before they receive their rebates.

INQUIRER.net has reached out to PCC for a comment but has yet to receive a reply as of posting time.

Edited by KGA
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