LTFRB orders Grab to suspend ₱2 per minute charge

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 19) — The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) suspended transport network company Grab's charge of ₱2 per minute on rides.

The order, dated April 18, was released "pending extensive review and resolution" of the contested additional fare. It was signed by Chairman Martin Delgra and Board Member Ronaldo Corpuz.

Grab's legal counsel Miguel Aguila told CNN Philippines Thursday evening they would follow the order which the LTFRB said was effective "immediately."

The transport network company added a ₱2 per minute charge to its riders in June last year. In an interview with CNN Philippines' The Source, PBA Partylist Rep. Jericho Nograles slammed this amount as illegal, and accused the company of owing riders an accumulation of over ₱1 billion in such fares.

Citing a department order, Grab maintained it could set its own fees and the LTFRB had been duly informed of this raise. It also maintained it was transparent with its riders.

Transport regulators denied any knowledge of the charge and issued a show cause order for the company last week.

Related: Grab claims LTFRB knew about ₱2 per minute charge

Nograles on Thursday welcomed the suspension and maintained the ₱2 fare was "kept secret from the operators, drivers, and riders."

"I hope that (a) refund for these hidden charges will be ordered soon... and that the drivers are spared from paying his refund," said Nograles.

Grab Philippines Country Head Brian Cu maintained on Wednesday that the extra money actually went to the drivers.

"Ano pong ibabalik natin? Nasa driver po napunta 'yung ₱2 [What will we return? The driver has the ₱2]," he said.

However, Cu also said they were willing to comply if the government ordered a refund.

Related: Grab 'ready to comply' if regulators ask for refund

CNN Philippines correspondent Xianne Arcangel and digital producer Ver Marcelo contributed to this report.