Grab PH skips LTFRB hearing due to COVID-19
MANILA, Philippines — Representatives of Grab PH have failed to show up at their scheduled hearing before the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) over several alleged overcharging and unsanctioned fares increases.
Grab PH claimed their representatives had been exposed to a COVID-19-positive individual, hence, they could not attend the hearing.
The LTFRB has set the next hearing schedule on January 13, 2023.
The Lawyers for Commuters Safety and Protection (LCSP) had filed a petition raising Grab PH’s alleged overcharging and unsanctioned fare increases before the LTFRB.
Upon receiving the complaint from LCSP president Atty. Ariel Inton, the LTFRB, summoned the Transportation Network Vehicle Service (TNVS) provider to explain their alleged actions.
According to the complaint, commuters have reportedly been charged surge fees despite being outside the established rush hour periods of the day. Additionally, the LCSP questioned Grab PH’s pricey rate for short trips.
During the LTFRB hearing last December 7, Grab PH head for mobility EJ dela Vega clarified that the increase in base fare from P45 in 2019 to P85 as of 2022 was within the guidelines set by the LTFRB.
But Inton called on the LTFRB to ensure the TNVS will answer for the controversies that have significantly adversely affected commuters this holiday season.
“The LTFRB must subpoena Grab to clarify how they came up with an P85 fare on a short trip, which is not authorized by the LTFRB,” he said. Inton also reminded commuters to report overcharging to the LTFRB.
Recently, the TNVS was scrutinized by lawmakers and organizations, including the Philippine Competition Commission, which recently looked into Grab PH’s fare hike despite a voluntary promise to avoid doing so.
In a statement, Grab PH senior director for strategy and operations Ronald Roda said they are ready to face the complaint or answer any allegations at the right time.
“One of us got COVID-19 so we requested a postponement of the hearing,” Roda said.
Meanwhile, both Bagong Henerasyon Party-list Rep. Bernadette Herrera and Marikina 2nd District Rep. Stella Quimbo have launched their own initiatives to ascertain the truth behind allegations against Grab PH.