LTFRB to review Grab’s fare rates

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The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) will review the fare setting of ride-sharing company Grab Philippines (Grab) following the recent fine imposed on the company for overcharging.

In a statement released Thursday, the LTFRB said the fine imposed by the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) was due to Grab’s failure to follow through with a voluntary commitment it made with the antitrust body.

“To put it in proper context, the fine issued by PCC in its decision recently rendered pertains to the failure of Grab to fulfill its commitment to PCC as embodied in Grab's Undertaking which it voluntarily submitted to PCC. It has nothing to do with LTFRB's fare structure," LTFRB Board Member Ronaldo Corpus said in a meeting between the LTFRB and the PCC on Monday.

The LTFRB said a review would be made to find out whether Grab violated the existing fare structure imposed by the board.


“The agency shall continue to work closely with the PCC regarding this issue,” the LTFRB said.

According to the LTFRB’s Memorandum Circular 2019-036 which contains the fare matrix imposed by the LTFRB on Transportation Network Vehicle Services (TNVS) such as Grab, TNVS companies shall charge a flag down rate of up to PHP40 for car sedans, up to PHP50 for premium Asian utility vehicles/sport utility vehicles (SUV), and up to PHP30 for hatchbacks/sub-compact vehicles.

There will be a PHP15 additional charge per kilometer for sedans, PHP18 for SUVs, and PHP13 for hatchbacks—aside from PHP2 charge per minute of travel.

TNVS companies are also allowed to double their per kilometer and per minute charge through surge pricing.

In a statement on Tuesday, Grab contested claims of overcharging against the company and the call for additional fines from Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta Party-list) Rep. Jericho Nograles.

Grab clarified that its fares were within the fare matrix of the LTFRB and the acceptance of the fine imposed by the PCC was made “in the interest of showing good faith.”

“We will comply with the PCC although clearly we could have filed a motion for reconsideration or appealed to a higher authority, which we did not since we want to focus on our business instead," said Brian Cu, Grab Philippines president.

On Nov. 18, the PCC imposed a total fine of PHP23.45 million on Grab for breaching its voluntary pricing commitments during the first to third quarters of the initial undertaking between Grab and the PCC.

Through amendments made between the two parties, the total fine of PHP5.05 million for its overcharging violations in the third quarter of the undertaking will be refunded to Grab’s customers instead of being paid as a fine to the national treasury.

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