By Ellson Quismorio
Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) Partylist Rep. Jericho Nograles has accused Grab Philippines of distorting the country’s laws as well as the directives issued by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to justify its abusive fare rates while leaving their driver-partners high and dry.
Nograles said Grab Philippines and its lawyers have been citing Department Order 2015-011 issued in May 8, 2015 which allows transport network companies (TNCs) to set their own fare rates subject to LTFRB oversight.
The problem is, the TNC giant has completely ignored more updated orders and issuances made by LTFRB.
Nograles cited a newer order dated December 27, 2016 wherein the LTFRB specifically enumerated the allowed fare charges, which have been completely ignored by Grab.
“Obviously, a 2016 LTFRB order supersedes the 2015 order and not the other way around but Grab continues to pretend that the later LTFRB ruling does not exist and keeps on harping about an old and outdated order to justify their illegal fare rates,” the Davao-based solon said.
In its December 27, 2016 order, the LTFRB clearly directed Grab to adopt an itemized fare structure which include a “Base fare or Minimum fare” of P40, “Per kilometer charge” of P10 to P14 depending on the vehicle used and “price surge” of up to twice the fare for the distance traveled.
In that order, Nograles noted that there was no item about a P2 per minute charge in the fare structure. The stated minimum fare is also P40, and not the P80 or P125 that is being charged by Grab.
“Grab violated a lawful order of the LTFRB and cites an order which is already passé and outdated. It’s either Grab lawyers are just too ignorant of our existing laws or are deliberately distorting them to justify their excessive greed for profit,” Nograles stressed.
Grab drivers being duped?
“And when they are being confronted for cheating the public, they use their driver-partners as their excuse for their abusive business practices when in fact, even the drivers are victims of Grab,” he added.
Nograles said if Grab Philippines is really concerned about the plight of their driver-partners, the company should reduce their commission to 10 percent instead of the 20 to 25 percent. Even at 10-percent commission, Nograles said Grab would still rake in a whopping P10 million per day or P300 million per month.
Nograles lamented that Grab’s driver-partners are being fooled to believe that their present financial woes are caused by his exposés on the various malpractices of Grab Philippines but in reality, it is Grab’s excessive greed for profit that is causing their miseries.
Nograles said that as a country bound by laws, Grab Philippines must abide by the rules set by the government in conducting their business instead of them imposing their rules on the pretense that it is for their good of their hardworking driver-partners.
“Just like all public conveyances, Grab is mandated by law to abide by the standards set by the government through the LTFRB and not Grab dictating their own standards and fare rates to the government. Even more revolting is they use our poor drivers as their excuse for violating lawful orders,” Nograles said.
“Sumunod lang kasi sila sa batas para hindi na malagay sa alanganin ang mga driver (Just follow the law for the sake of the drivers),” he concluded.