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Check Your GrabPay Wallets: Grab Philippines to Refund P14.15 M to Riders, As Per PCC Order

Grab is also facing commuter complaints on fare hikes due to the holiday season.
IMAGE UNSPLASH/PIXABAY
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Come February 2020, check your wallets for a late holiday gift from Grab.

Grab Philippines will be disbursing a total of P14.15 million to its passengers via GrabPay wallet in compliance with the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC)’s order. Only passengers who took Grab rides from May 11 to August 10, 2019, will be refunded a certain amount, which will be added to their GrabPay wallets by February 10, 2020.

Passengers will receive a memo regarding their disbursement at least five days before it appears in their wallets.

Grab’s planned disbursement is in response to PCC’s fine of P16.15 on the transportation company for “violating its price and service quality commitments.” PCC imposed a fine of P14.15 million in relation to Grab’s excessive price hikes and P2 million for exceeding driver cancellation limits. While the P14.15 million will be distributed to its passengers, the remaining balance of P2 million will be paid directly to PCC.

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Grab Philippines explained that its prices are influenced by lack of transportation network vehicle services (TNVS) supply, growing commuter demand, and worsening traffic conditions. However, PCC stated that the “disgorged amount” of fare prices should be paid by Grab and not its passengers or drivers.

"All of us as consumers should not be made to suffer higher prices because two competing businesses decided to merge," PCC Commissioner Johannes Bernabe told Esquire.  "Grab's higher prices arose out of its virtual monopoly in the ride-hailing market. PCC's requirement for Grab to return a portion of the fares it unduly charged riders is our way of protecting consumer welfare in the face of Grab's market power."

In Grab’s defense, the company explained that “TNVS is initially intended to augment the mass transportation system in the country, at the current rate, the TNVS is now carrying the heavy load of serving commuters which the current mass transport system is unable to accommodate.”

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Grab previously explained that it receives around 700,000 to 800,000 booking requests per day, but there are only 35,000 to 36,000 Grab drivers available to serve them.

This isn’t the first time Grab has been fined by PCC. It was fined P11.3, P7.1 million, and P5.05 during different quarters for violating pricing commitments.

LTFRB responds to Christmas price hikes

As Grab Philippines deals with PCC’s fine, they’re also facing complaints from commuters for allegedly hiking fare prices due to the Christmas season, according to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTRFB).

“The agency is at the forefront of ensuring public transportation remains safe, convenient, and also affordable. We will look into this. ” LTFRB chairman Atty. Martin B. Delgra IIII.

LTRFB is calling a meeting with transport network companies to discuss passenger complaints and settle the matter within the week.

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About The Author
Anri Ichimura
Staff Writer, Esquire Philippines
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