LTFRB to decide on Grab ₱2 charge by July

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 13) — Grab Philippines can expect a decision soon regarding its controversial ₱2 per minute charge.

Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Chair Martin Delgra told CNN Philippines' The Source that they are expected to decide on the appeal "if not this month, next month."

"There will not be a hearing anymore, but we have asked Grab for some documentation in as far as that issue is concerned," said Delgra.

On May 22, Grab filed a petition to reinstate a ₱2 per minute charge, which was suspended after PBA Party-list Representative Jericho Nograles said it was imposed without public knowledge.

Drivers contested the suspension, which Grab said kept them off the road because of lower earnings.

The looming decision also comes as LTFRB, through a newly released department order, now stands as to control all TNCs and their vehicle services. The Board is expected to approve and deny franchise applications; set routes, fares, and operating conditions; impose fines; and cancel and suspend franchises.

The additional ₱2 charges are not the only issue rocking Grab Philippines. Amid customer complaints of being unable to book cars, Grab maintained in May that it only has 35,000 cars to service 600,000 bookings daily.

LTFRB said the number is "quite a jump" from its own record last year of around 300,000 daily bookings.

Nonetheless, transport regulators have pegged an intended supply base of 65,000 cars in Metro Manila; 1,500 in Cebu; and 250 in Pampanga.

"We're still trying to populate it," said Delgra. "It's more than what the market needs."

LTFRB said it was still processing almost 13,000 applications between March 5 and June 8. Of these applicants, about 8,000 were granted provisional authority, which allows them to start driving while their full accreditation is pending.

Once the goal of 65,000 cars in supply is met, said Delgra, it is up to TNCs to provide incentives for drivers to spend more time on the road.