Grab says DoTr order proves its current fare structure is legal

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GRAB Philippines (MyTaxi.PH) on Wednesday said the Department of Transportation’s (DoTr) new department order (DO), which puts the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) in charge of setting the fares of ride-hailing firms, proves its current fare structure is legal.

In a statement on Wednesday, Grab said DO 2018-013, which was signed by Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade on Monday, “upholds Grab’s position that its present rates, which were set in 2016, are legal.”

The company’s fare structure, particularly its P2 per minute waiting time charge and P80 minimum fare, has been questioned by Representative Jericho Jonas B. Nograles of the Pwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) party-list.

In April, Grab’s P2 per minute charge was suspended by the LTFRB following the congressman’s petition. Grab filed an application in late May to reimpose the charge, arguing that its fare matrix is legal, but LTFRB has yet to decide on it.

“So Pwersa ng Bayaning Atleta party-list Jericho Nograles was wrong from the start in claiming our fares were not legal because 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,” the statement quoted Grab’s legal counsel Miguel Aguila as saying.

Prior the signing of the new DO, LTFRB followed DO 2015-011 which allowed transport network companies (TNC) to set rates for its transport network vehicle services (TNVS).

Grab’s Mr. Aguila also said Mr. Nograles should issue an apology to the affected drivers “for making life more difficult for them unnecessarily and for unknown motivations.” — Denise A. Valdez