By Denise A. Valdez
THE Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) is ordering Grab Philippines (MyTaxi.PH) to resubmit its fare hike petition to include the prices of its other services such as GrabCar Premium within 10 days.
After a hearing on Tuesday to address the current issues revolving the ride-hailing company, Grab said the LTFRB board has decided to defer its decision on the company’s appeal for higher fare prices.
“The board wanted us to amend the fare petition to include the other verticals that we have, GrabCar, GrabCar Premium, Grab 6-seater. Mag-aamend kami ng fare hike petition so once the board reviews it, nandun na lahat [We will amend the fare hike petition so once the board reviews it, everything is there],” Grab public affairs head Leo Emmanuel K. Gonzales said in a phone interview.
Aside from GrabCar and GrabTaxi, the company offers high-end vehicles under Grab Premium, as well as bigger vehicles that can accommodate up to six passengers.
“I guess the board wanted more clarity on what exactly were the verticals we’re applying for and the corresponding fares for each,” Mr. Gonzales said.
In January, Grab filed for a 5% fare hike taking into account the effects of the tax reform law to its drivers, particularly the excise tax on fuel. It asked to raise the per-kilometer charge to P11-P15 from P10-P14. It also sought to raise the now-suspended P2 per minute travel time charge to P2.10 per minute.
“We have to wait for the LTFRB to decide. We firmly believe that we were in the right when we implemented it,” he said of the P2 minute per travel time charge.
Grab also addressed the accusation of Pwersa ng Bayaning Atleta party-list Representative Jericho Jonas B. Nograles that the company is charging an “illegal” minimum fare of P80.
Grab’s Mr. Gonzales said Mr. Nograles’ claims were misleading, as Grab never changed its pricing structure since June last year. “It just wasn’t noticed because it’s a minimum fare. It’s very rarely that someone would ride Grab for a very short distance,” Mr. Gonzales said.
He explained the fare that Grab imposes on its riders are composed of a P40 base fare, a P10-P14 per-kilometer charge, the P2 per minute charge that is currently suspended, and the surge that depends on the demand at a given time.
“If your fare is less than P80, say P78, the algorithm will automatically convert that to P80 as a minimum fare,” Mr. Gonzales said.