MANILA A partylist lawmaker on Tuesday urged the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to investigate the reported higher fares of ride-hailing firm Grab since it became the dominant player in the country with its takeover of rival Uber's operations.
Kabayan Rep. Ciriaco Calalang said LTFRB should launch a motu proprio (on its own initiative) investigation into the riding public's complaints that Grab drivers are choosing passengers and seeking higher rates.
Calalang noted that Grab's acquisition of Uber's Southeast Asia operations has led to a monopoly in the ride-hailing industry.
"LTFRB is already aware of the riding public's complaints. LTFRB has power to investigate on its own, motu propio... With these complaints, Grab has been behaving like a monopoly now," he said.
Calalang said the regulatory body must also compel Grab to "self-regulate" and enforce discipline, while advising the ride-hailing service to weed out its rogue drivers without LTFRB intervening.
"This chaotic situation cannot, must not, be allowed to let commuter rights be trampled upon," the congressman said.
Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta Partylist Rep. Jericho Nograles earlier revealed that Grab has been "illegally charging" its customers PHP2 per minute of travel time, contrary to the company's claim that it has no hidden per-minute charge.
The PHP2 per minute additional charge is on top of its flag-down rate of PHP40 and charge of PHP10 to PHP14 per km.
Nograles said Grab should refund its customers some PHP1.8 billion for overcharging in the past five months alone.
On Tuesday, the LTFRB conducted a hearing on the alleged illegal charges by Grab.
Source: Philippine News Agency