By Noreen Jazul
The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) said it is looking into Grab’s fares from the period of June to August, 2019, to check whether the ride-hailing firm needs to refund more to its consumers.
The independent, quasi-judicial body earlier ordered Grab to refund about P5.05 million to its customers after it was found “overcharging” from February to May 2019.
“Meron pa pong yung panahon naman ng June to August 2019. Ito rin po ay sinisiyasat ng PCC at maari rin po na magkaroon po ng karagdagan na pag singil dito mula sa Grab na kinakailangan na isauli sa ating mananakay,” PCC Commissioner Johannes Bernande told DZMM in an interview.
Bernande also clarified that while it is true that Grab did not overcharge based on the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board’s (LTFRB) price matrix, the ride-hailing firm still went over its price monitoring commitment with the PCC.
“Ang sinasabi naman po natin sa PCC ay meron silang lampas na sinisingil sa kanilang mga pasahero ayon po doon sa napagkasunduan naman ng PCC at Grab na tinatawag natin na price monitoring commitment,” Bernande said.
“Iyong kanilang pangako ay iyong kanilang presyo na chinacharge noong meron pa silang kalaban, meron pa silang ka kompitensya na Uber ay hindi po lalampas doon po sa kanilang i-cha-charge sa mga pasahero noon pong panahon na wala na silang ka kompitensya,” he explained.
Grab Philippines denied that there was “overcharging” on its part.
In an interview with ANC, Grab Philippines President Brian Cu claimed that the ride-hailing firm did not go beyond the fare matrix of the LTRFB.
“Overcharging is not the correct word to be used for the fines. What happened was the PCC found certain deviations in our pricing commitments…that we made last year after the merger between Grab and Uber,” Cu said.
“Those voluntary commitments included what they call a fare range which had a very technical computation that we were supposed to stay within. Now, due to unforeseen factors such as the change in regulations on our ability to price on the per-minute fares by the LTFRB, this fare range moved. Even though our fares did not change throughout that period, the fare range computation meant that we deviated on certain commitments,” the Grab Philippines president added.
Cu also clarified that the P5.05 million which will be given to its customers are not refunds but rather a “disbursement” of the fines imposed by the PCC.
“On the refund of P5 million, it’s not based on any computation of how much was charged, the refund was a fine imposed by the PCC as part of this P23 million fine but within the third quarter of last year. [The PCC told us that] instead of giving us the five million fine, just return that to the customers,” Cu explained.