LTFRB assures fair fares when Grab, Uber merge

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 27 2018 01:43 PM | Updated as of Dec 26 2018 09:32 PM

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MANILA - The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Tuesday assured the public that fares of ride-hailing firm Grab would be fair in the face of its impending merger with Uber, which would unify the competing firms.

Lawyer Aileen Lizada, LTFRB board member, stressed that the agency has the authority to regulate Grab's fare as the agency's paramount concern is the riding public.

She made the statement amid concerns that Grab's foreseen monopoly could lead to higher fare prices. 

"On their own, TNCs (transport network companies) cannot increase [fare] without the approval of LTFRB. Otherwise, we will cancel or suspend their accreditation." she told DZMM radio.

Grab earlier announced it is buying Uber's ride-sharing and food delivery operations in the region. In exchange, Uber will receive a 27.5 percent stake in Grab, its statement said.

Grab and earlier said the merger's transition would be complete by April 8, meaning the Uber app could no longer be used in booking rides starting April 9. 

If this pushes through, Grab will be the only transport network company operating in the country as the other ride-hailing firm U-Hop is still under investigation over alleged violations reported by its drivers.

Application of three more ride-hailing firms are still pending before the LTFRB. 

Meanwhile, Lizada said Uber drivers will not be affected by the deal because the franchises they gave drivers are still valid regardless which company they are under. 

"'Pag nasa master list kayo nung July 2017, wala kayong problema. Ipo-process pa rin namin kayo. 'Yun nag cut-off natin. Whether you're Uber or Grab, to LTFRB, there is no brand," she said.

LTFRB records show 55,000 drivers work for ride-hailing firms across the country.