Senate inquiry set on fares imposed by ride-hailing services

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Grace Poe-BW
SENATOR Grace Poe-Llamanzares — BW FILE PHOTO

SENATOR Grace S. Poe-Llamanzares has filed a resolution seeking an inquiry into the fare setting of ride-hailing services after the alleged unauthorized P2-per-minute of travel time imposed by Grab Philippines.

Filed on May 10, Senate Resolution No. 729 directed the Senate committee on public services, chaired by Ms. Llamanzares, to conduct a legislative inquiry in the hopes that fare collection rules in the transport network vehicle service (TNVS) sector may be crafted and that a possible law on the sector would address these concerns.

“It is necessary to examine the fare setting and disclosure mechanics of TNCs (transport network companies) in view of public interest and in light of its pervasive nature as preferred mode of public transport,” she said in the resolution.

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has ordered Grab Philippines to suspend its P2 charge upon further order from the board. The TNC, meanwhile, has filed a formal petition appealing to the LTFRB to allow it to reimpose the charge.

LTFRB board member Aileen Lourdes A. Lizada on Monday confirmed that the Department of Transportation had given the agency authority to regulate the fares charged by TNCs and TNVS.

The Senate resolution stated that the issue regarding Grab’s fares has brought the policy question as to whether algorithms for fare setting “should be disclosed to enable the regulatory agency to effectively decipher fares and avoid overcharging.”

It also stressed the need to evaluate whether LTFRB should also set “a range of values for the base metrics of the fares imposed by the TNCs.”

Two bills have been filed in the Senate seeking to institutionalize the LTFRB’s policies on TNCs and to provide a clear set of obligations of TNCs to the riding public. Similar proposed measures have also been filed in the House of Representatives but all remained pending in the committee level. — Camille A. Aguinaldo