GRAB Philippines on Tuesday said there is no basis for Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA Partylist) Rep. Jericho B. Nograles’ assertion that it “should be liable for P15 billion worth of fines” for overcharging customers.

“Grab did not overcharge its riders and has no liability to pay any fine, contrary to a claim by (Mr. Nograles),” the ride-hailing firm said in a statement.

Grab argued that its fares “were well within the fare matrix” of the regulator Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).

The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) earlier this month slapped a fine of P23.45 million on Grab for breaching its initial pricing commitments. The fine includes a P5 million refund to its Grab riders who used the service between February and May.

“We complied with our regulator but in the interest of showing good faith, we will comply with the PCC although clearly we could have filed a motion for reconsideration or appealed to a higher authority, which we did not since we want to focus on our business instead,” Grab country manager Brian P. Cu was quoted as saying in the statement.

He said Mr. Nograles’s claim that Grab Philippines should face bigger fines has “no basis,” adding this is “incorrect, misleading, irresponsible and will only hurt the morale of drivers who only want to make a decent living by serving the riding public.”

Grab also maintained that it “has not made any form of admission of allegedly 3-million offenses of ‘overcharging’.”

“What Grab said in the press conference last November 22 was there is no overcharging, and that there are around 3 million passengers that would receive the payment of P5.05 million in total fines as ordered by the PCC,” it explained.

Grab has said that it respects PCC’s mandate to protect Philippine consumers, and has worked with the authority to form and finalize its voluntary commitments.

Grab has until Dec. 14 to pay its first and second quarter fines amounting to P11.3 million and P7.1 million respectively. — A.L.Balinbin