The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board upheld the validity of the Department of Transportation order in 2015 allowing transport network companies like Grab and Uber to set their own fares.
“There is no doubt that we were authorized to set our fares because even LTFRB in February 2016 said in an order that the DO was “valid, legal and subsisting until nullified by court,” said Miguel Aguila, Grab legal counsel.
That means, Aguila said, that all the fares Grab charges are legal, including the P2 per minute fare component that LTFRB suspended in April upon the instance of Rep. Jericho Nograles.
Grab had filed a petition for the P2 to be restored but it was immediately opposed by Nograles.
The suspension caused losses for the drivers since they get 80 percent of the P2 as income. The remaining 20 percent is spent by Grab largely as incentives for the drivers and the riders, he said.
“In effect, it was the drivers Nograles hurt. And since many drivers decided not to drive anymore because of low income or even losses, the riders are also affected since they have to wait for a long time to get a ride, or not get one at all, or pay more since fare surges come about when there is a lack of vehicles,” he said.
Aguila said Grab hopes the LTFRB restores the P2 so that the drivers will go back to serving the public and address in part the acute lack of vehicles.
Grab gets about 600,000 daily bookings but has only about 35,000 vehicles. This number is much less actually since only a few thousands are on the road at any given time of the day, Aguila said.