Nograles: Fine Grab ₱15-B for overcharging passengers

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 24) — A party-list representative says ride-hailing company Grab should be fined ₱15 billion for overcharging millions of customers from February to May this year.

In a statement Sunday, Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) Party-list Rep. Jericho Nograles said Grab's compliance with an order by the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) to refund around P5.05 million in fares is proof of overcharging.

On top of the refund, the PCC also slapped Grab with a ₱23.45 million fine because of the excessive charges.

The PCC issued the order to Grab last November 14 and gave it 60 days to refund customers.

"Grab made a direct admission of 3 million offenses and under the JAO (joint administrative order) 2014-01, each offense merits a fine of ₱5,000. Therefore, Grab should be liable for P15 billion worth of fines," Nograles said.

He added, "If Grab will not be charged as such, then it can be argued that Grab is being favored, tantamount to graft."

Nograles said the fine should be shouldered by the company alone, and not be distributed to any of its drivers.

He also said Grab has a history of overcharging its customers, as evidenced by the P10 million fine imposed by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board in July 2018, and in January 2019 when the PCC told Grab to pay ₱6.5 million in fines for incorrect pricing data.

Grab, meanwhile, said they would refund passengers amounts between ₱1 to ₱100 in line with the PCC order.

Brian Cu said around three million users who booked rides in February to May will receive the rebates.

“The average [amount] that a passenger will get is around ₱1.50. There are some who will get below ₱1 and there are others who will get over ₱100. Depende po ‘yun kung gaano karaming trips tinake nila,” he told the media.

[Translation: The average amount that a passenger will get is around ₱1.5. There are some who will get below ₱1 and there are others who will get over ₱100. It depends on how many rides they booked during the period.]

Cu said neither their partner-drivers nor riders will shoulder the fine, as the company will utilize its contingency funds.