MANILA - Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian said Saturday he wants the Philippine antitrust body to impose stiffer penalties against ride-hailing firm Grab Philippines (Grab PH) for repeatedly violating the country's competition rules since absorbing operations of its rival Uber last year.
The senator said the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) has penalized Grab four times for breaching price and service quality obligations within the year and that this was unacceptable, especially for commuters.
Grab users have repeatedly complained over exorbitant fares.
“Ilang beses nang nakitaan ng violation at sinita ng PCC ang pang-aabuso ng Grab sa ating mga commuter kaya naman sila ay madalas na pinagmumulta. Ang nakapagtataka, apat na beses na silang pinagmulta ng paulit-ulit sa loob ng isang taon,” Gatchalian said in a statement.
(PCC has seen and fined Grab multiple times for abusing our commuters. What is astonishing is that they were penalized four times in a span of a year.)
"Dapat tingnan na rin ng PCC ang buong sitwasyon at patawan sila ng mas matinding karampatang aksyon.”
(PCC should look at the whole situation and slap Grab heavier penalties.)
Recently, Grab PH was fined P16.15 million for violating its commitments from May to August, according to PCC. The total fines include P14.15 million for overpricing and P2 million for exceeding driver cancellations at 7.76 percent instead of 5 percent.
The ride-hailing giant earlier denied allegations of overpricing, even if its fares deviated from its pricing commitment, saying they did not violate the fare matrix given by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).
"Overcharging is characterized by us going beyond what is allowed based on the fare matrix of the LTFRB. So we did not go beyond the LTFRB fare matrix, we stopped under that level," Grab Philippines president Brian Cu said.