THE Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) is working with ride-hailing app Grab Philippines to ensure fare increases are reasonable, as it dominates the market after taking over Uber’s local operations last year.

“That is what we are trying to work with Grab on — ano ’yung methodology for us to say that you cannot deviate too much from the pre-Uber exit situation? What are you allowed to claim as increases?,” PCC Commissioner Johannes Benjamin R. Bernabe said at a forum on Wednesday, referring to continued discussions with the company.

Mr. Bernabe said Grab still has to address competition concerns, and PCC would need to continuously monitor the company’s possible tendency towards abuse of market power.

“The competition issues that we identified last year are still there. There’s still no viable competition in the market,” he said, noting that Grab is cognizant of consumer feedback that fares have increased since Uber exited the market.

Mr. Bernabe said reasonable price variants would be based on inflation and worsening traffic, adding that profit-based increases may be allowed if within reason.

“We don’t want to guarantee profit for a monopoly. But at the same time we have to be cognizant that they have to operate a viable business as well without pricing their services — while in a monopoly situation — to the detriment of consumers,” he said.

PCC is also looking to work with government agencies to allow a viable competitor to enter the ride-hailing market.

Mr. Bernabe said that Indonesian company Gojek is going through the administrative and legal processes to possibly enter the market.

PCC in January slapped a P6.5-million fine on Grab Philippines after the company sent deficient and incorrect pricing data to the commission. — Jenina P. Ibañez