Marcos seeks probe vs Grab fare surges, cancellations during Christmas rush

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 19 2019 10:36 AM

MANILA - Grab officials will be summoned to a Senate probe next year to explain reports of excessive fare surges and cancellations in the last month of 2019, a lawmaker said Wednesday.

Senator Imee Marcos filed a resolution to probe alleged abuses committed by the Philippines' lone transport network vehicle service.

"Nag-file ako ng resolution tungkol sa Grab kasi nakakapikon na palibhasa ba pasko na sinasamantala na," she said citing high charges even for commuters availing the ride-sharing option.

"It isn't a right to provide services, binibigay yan ng pamahalaan para sa serbisyo sa taumbayan pero kung nagsasamantala ka ay hindi na karapat-dapat," she added.

(They shouldn't abuse their permit. They should provide service to the public.)

Marcos' resolution came shortly after the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) imposed a P16.15-million fine against the transport monopoly for violating its commitments from May to August.

Grab virtually monopolized the ride-sharing industry in the Philippines in 2018 after it acquired its rival US-based Uber in a "largest-ever" deal of its kind in the region.

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian earlier urged the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to check if Grab has been complying with the required surge pricing and pushed for the entry of more industry players.

"Without competition in the hail-riding industry, our poor commuters will always be at the mercy of high fares," he said.

Franchise-giving agencies should allow motorcycle taxis to serve as an alternative transportation system to ensure that commuters will have enough options, Marcos said.

Legalizing motorcycle taxis will be a safer option than allowing commuters to patronize unregistered counterparts, Marcos said.

"At least sigurado tayo na may insurance 'yan, may helmet 'yan, may driver na maayos. 'Yung vehicle tinetesting naman at ineeksamin, mas mahirap ang labu-labo na habal-habal na nasa kalsada lang," she said.

(At least we can be assured of passengers' safety, insurance, properly-trained drivers, and well-maintained vehicles.)