THE LAND TRANSPORTATION Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has given the green light for transportation network companies (TNC) like Grab Philippines (MyTaxi.PH, Inc.) to implement a P2 per minute travel time charge.
The regulator on Tuesday evening signed Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 2018-019 which sets the fare structure for transportation network vehicle service (TNVS) units.
“The board hereby authorizes TNVS to charge P2 per minute of travel time from origin to destination as part of its fare structure,” the memorandum circular stated.
The LTFRB said the P2-perminute fare component will be applied to all types of vehicles such as sedans, Asian utility vehicles, sports utility vehicles and sub-compacts.
It also said TNCs must include in its electronic receipt the unbundled breakdown of fares, detailing the flag down rate, per kilometer rate, travel time rate and surge price.
The memorandum circular will be implemented 15 days after its publication in a newspaper of general circulation.
In June, the Department of Transportation gave LTFRB the authority to regulate and supervise TNCs, as well as set its fares.
Meanwhile, the LTFRB said the new policy is being issued “without prejudice” to the final resolution of separate cases filed by Grab Philippines and Hype Transport Systems, Inc. The two companies have pending cases with the LTFRB regarding its “illegal” P2 per minute charge that was implemented without authority from the Board since last year.
The regulator earlier had slapped a P10-million fine on Grab Philippines for allegedly overcharging customers and implementing the P2-per-minute fare component without approval.
However, the LTFRB on Tuesday revoked a portion of the order, which required Grab to reimburse passengers the P2-per-minute fare component it implemented from June 2017 to April 2018, citing a lack of legal basis.
Sought for comment on the new policy, Grab Philippines public affairs head Leo Emmanuel K. Gonzales said they have not received a copy of the memorandum circular.
Grab Philippines has always insisted on the legality of the P2-per-minute fare component.
“Our partners have suffered through low earnings for the last four months following the suspension of the legal P2-per-minute fare component…. [L]ifting of the suspension of the P2-per-minute fare component will make our TNVS partners see a path towards more sustainable income,” the ride-hailing company said in a statement released on Wednesday morning.
Because of the drop in earnings, Grab Philippines said last month it only has a pool of 33,000 drivers catering to the 600,000 bookings it receives in a day. — Denise A. Valdez