MANILA - Ride-hailing firm Grab on Wednesday said fares increased as the company could not meet the rise in demand after it acquired erstwhile rival Uber's Southeast Asian operations.
Passengers have complained over high prices and cancelled bookings since Uber began winding down its Philippine operations early this month. The Uber app was shut this week.
"Demand went up sharply by 70 percent compared to a 40 percent increase in supply. Kulang pa rin ang cars to meet the demand," Grab Philippines country head Brian Cu told reporters.
The surge rate, or higher rates that correspond with demand, was not raised but was kicking in more often, Cu said.
"Marami tayong routes na bumaba ang presyo instead na umakyat. On average, prices went down by 2 percent. Bumaba ang surge to 1.5," he said.
(There are many routes wherein prices went down instead of up. On average, prices went down by 2 percent. The surge rate went down to 1.5.)
Cu said the company had to charge an additional P2 per kilometer rate to "lower prices from the ceiling."
"It made some fares go up, it made some fares go down, but on average fares became more fair for both sides," he said.
Cu said the move did not violate Philippine laws.
"The P2 that was imposed to the fare was legal. LTFRB (Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board) was made aware of this during 2 occasions," he said.
- with a report from Jacque Manabat, ABS-CBN News