By Ellson Quismorio
The entire Grab Philippines overcharging fiasco has lessened the riding public’s trust in the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).
This was the statement made by Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) Partylist Rep. Jericho Nograles when asked what the LTFRB should do to watch over the transport network company (TNC) better in a DZBB radio interview today.
Nograles described the P2 per minute charge imposed by Grab as shocking to commuters since it appeared arbitrary and therefore illegal. The solon was the one who exposed the controversial charge.
“Yong reaction ng riders sa P2 per minute charge, sabi nila, ‘teka teka di ba nandyan yong LTFRB? Bakit hindi ang LTFRB ang nagbuking nyan, bakit congressman ang nagbuking nyan?'” Nograles said.
“So there is a question also on the capability of the LTFRB when it comes to this. So natamaan, natamaan ang trust ng tao sa LTFRB (The people’s trust in LTFRB dropped),” he added.
Nograles had earlier estimated that Grab owes their riders some P3.24 billion in illegally collected fares after its admission that it has been charging them P2 per minute on travel time since June 2017.
The Davao-based solon said the decision to collect this extra fee was made by the Grab management alone.
Asked if the LTFRB had been negligent or too lenient, Nograles said, “Yon ang lumalabas (That’s what we’re seeing).”
“So dapat yong LTFRB daw, dahil nasa teritoryo nila, sila ang dapat pumalag doon.
Ngayon palag na sila dahil congressman na ang nakabuking (The LTFRB should have challenged the charge since it’s within their territory. Now they have no choice to do so because a congressman exposed it),” he said.
But Nograles said the most important action of all is for Grab to refund the collected illegal fees from their patrons.
“Ang ending ko dito, pakisauli po ang mga bilyones na kinuha niyo po sa taumbayan (I end this by saying, please return the billions that you took from the public), [otherwise]…See you in Bilibid (See you in jail).”
Singapore-based Grab recently took over the Southeast Asian operations of its main competitor, United States-based Uber, making it the sole TNC player in the Philippines. Numerous other TNC companies are now applying at the LTRFB.