Grab to cover drivers' lost earnings from ₱2 fee suspension

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 19) — Grab Philippines is expecting to spend about ₱100 million a month to compensate drivers while its per-minute fee is in limbo.

The transport network company (TNC) rolled out its new subsidy scheme on Monday.

"Since the ₱2 per minute component was suspended, we received a lot of painful complaints from our partners that their earnings are not sufficient anymore to make a decent living. That's why we decided to step in," said Grab Philippines Country Head Brian Cu.

He also clarified that only riding hours with passengers would get a subsidy.

Grab's ₱2 per minute charge was suspended by transport regulators after PBA Party-list Representative Jericho Nograles said it was imposed without public knowledge. The TNC has maintained that the fee was above board, and has since filed a petition to reinstate it. The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board is expected to have a final decision by July.

Cu said that ideally, a driver should earn about ₱330 per hour — or ₱5.50 per minute.

"For example, if a ride from Makati to BGC takes an hour because of heavy traffic despite short distance, and fare is computed at ₱120 only, Grab will return to the driver the ₱210 difference to make sure he made ₱330 for that one-hour trip," Cu said.

Grab is hoping that the new scheme will incentivize more drivers to get on the road. Its company statistics show about 33,000 vehicle units cater to an average of 600,000 bookings daily.