Quimbo: Grab PH defiant, keeps overcharging passengers despite PCC limits
MANILA, Philippines — Despite fines imposed by the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) for overcharging, Grab Philippines has allegedly maintained raising fares, drawing fire from Marikina 2nd District Rep. Stella Luz Quimbo.
During the House committee hearing on Metro Manila development, Quimbo asked the PCC whether Grab is fulfilling its voluntary commitments regarding not overcharging passengers.
In response, PCC Division Chief for Notification Division Mergers and Acquisition Juan Antonio Arcilla admitted that Grab continued to increase their fares even after Grab’s voluntary commitment not to overcharge.
“Can the PCC confirm that the reason why the number one voluntary commitment of Grab has to do with overcharging is because shortly after the acquisition of Uber by Grab, nagkaroon ng increase in prices in that period after that acquisition?” Quimbo asked.
To which Arcilla replied, “Tama po. ‘Yan po ‘yung isa sa mga dangers na nais pong pigilan po ng PCC.”
Quimbo, who used to chair the PCC, was disappointed that the regulatory commission was waiting for Grab to show compliance regarding its 2018 voluntary commitments. She asserted that it should be the PCC’s mandate.
“Parang hindi ko yata matanggap na hinihintay ninyo dun sa regulated entity ang kanilang compliance. Nung ako po ay nasa PCC, sinet-up po namin ang sistema para lahat po ng datos sa pricing nakikita po ng mga regulator. Hihintayin natin sila mag-report? Kung ganun ang sistema, alam na po natin ang magiging laman ng report,” Quimbo pointed out.
Meanwhile, Digital Pinoys National Campaigner Ronald Gustilo said he sent several letters to PCC about reports of overpricing and overcharging Grab Philippines’ passengers. Gustilo said this is one reason why his group opposes the acquisition of Move It by Grab.
“Yung dating byahe ko na 25 kms na 200-250 pesos, 500 pesos minimum na ngayon. Grabe mag-overcharge ang Grab. Natatakot tayo sa pagpasok nila sa motorcycle taxi industry through Move It dahil baka magpatuloy ang mga ganitong practices,” Gustilo said.
Quimbo then prodded the PCC to continuously monitor Grab Philippines’ fulfillment of its commitments, especially on overcharging. After the Move It acquisition, she also asked the commission to watch out for Grab Philippines’ potential dominance in the motorcycle taxi industry.
“Inaasahan po namin ang PCC – kayo po ang kakampi ng consumers. Kayo po ang tagapag bantay ng regulated entities. Bagamat dito po sa motorcycle taxi market mukhang wala naman paglabag kasi maliit ang market share ni Move It at this point in time, pero sinasabi ko po, bantayan natin ang potential dominance because we know how these markets work.”
“Sa ganitong klaseng larangan, paunahan sa pag-capture ng buong market so this is one step in. Given that the technology is there, may danger na potential dominance. Also because of previous behavior, may possibility na baka magtaas ang presyo,” Quimbo said.
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