MANILA - Grab Philippines will be asked to explain why its operations should not be suspended over the cancellation of rides by some drivers, regulators said Sunday.
A Grab rider on Friday shared online a screenshot of a driver's message asking him to cancel his ride booking after he waited for some 20 minutes.
"Ako eat muna... Nagmamadali ka. Ikaw cancel," the driver said, as seen in the image shared online by his passenger Karl Hui.
Drivers sometimes ask riders to cancel their bookings to skirt penalties imposed by Grab, said Martin Delgra III, chairman of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board.
This practice, he said, can be deemed as refusal to render service or convey passengers to their destination, which is a violation of franchise terms.
"Sa Monday po, mag-i-issue kami ng show cause order against the driver and the operator, and obviously, also summon Grab as regards that particular incident," Delgra told DZMM.
The LTFRB said drivers who refuse to render service will face a fine of P5,000 for the first offense, and P10,000 for the second offense with impounding of the unit for 30 days.
Brian Cu, country head of Grab Philippines, said the company is "taking a harder stance to crack down" on drivers who cancel rides.
"I do hope our driver partners understand that behavior like this has a ripple effect on the community. Grab is doing its part, I hope that you do too," he said in a Facebook post.
The driver tagged in Hui's complaint has been suspended and "won’t likely be able to drive on Grab again," he said.
The Grab official, however, also asked passengers not to cancel ride bookings if drivers are stuck in traffic.
"I’d also like to ask my friends and the others reading this to not generalize as majority of our ka-Grab partners are professional and of superb quality," Cu added.
The issue comes weeks after Grab announced that it had acquired erstwhile rival Uber's ride-sharing and food delivery operations in the Philippines.
The company had been accused by riders of jacking up fares after acquiring Uber's business. Grab has denied this, saying that its fares have always been higher than Uber's.
The LTFRB last week ordered Grab to reduce its surge pricing rate and explain its extra P2 per minute travel charge.