Grab PH Seeks PHP10 Million Penalty Reversal, Asserts PHP2/Minute Charge as Valid
In its motion for reconsideration submitted to the Board last July 19, MyTaxi.ph, the company behind Grab Philippines, sought for the reversal of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) order dated July 9, compelling them to pay the said amount and reimburse customers that were charged PHP2 per minute covered during the April 19-June 5 period.
The motion said that the order needs to be reconsidered as it was in contrast to the Department Order (DO) 2015-011 issued by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) that gives TNCs the authority to impose their own fare, and the imposition of the refund to riders.
The said order provided that fares for transportation network vehicle service (TNVS) “shall be set by the Transport Network Company (TNC), such as herein the respondent subject to oversight from the LTFRB in cases of abnormal disruptions in the market…”
Aside from that, the company noted that the DO 2015-011 “remains valid and effective until struck down as unconstitutional by a court of competent jurisdiction.”
“To emphasize, judicial power, which includes the determination of whether or not an administrative issuance is constitutional or valid, is vested upon the courts, and not within the administrative bodies,” the respondents stated in the motion.
“Based on the foregoing alone, its is clear that this Honorable Board, being an administrative body, has no power to declare as unconstitutional DO 2015-011 for allegedly being an unauthorized delegation of legislative authority,” Grab Philippines added in its motion.
Further, Grab noted the earlier ruling on the 1-Utak vs. Uber Solutions Inc. dated February 22, 2016 where it upheld the DO 2015-011.
Moreover, the motion claimed that the PHP2 per minute charging imposed by Grab was done “validly relying on DO 2015-011 in good faith.”
In a statement, Grab Philippines that the imposition of the questioned fare was made “to ensure that its hard-working TNVS partners would earn a decent living despite the worsening traffic conditions.”
They also claimed that the LTFRB was aware of the PHP2 per minute fare component as early as nine months before April 19, 2018, when the LTFRB suspended it.
“Grab informed the LTFRB about the PHP2 per minute charge during its Technical Working Group (TWG) meeting on July 27, 2017 during which Grab presented its business model including its pricing scheme. In addition, Grab sent an e-mail to the LTFRB on August 24, 2017 to provide a written explanation of Grab’s pricing scheme, the receipt of which was duly acknowledged by the LTFRB,” the statement claimed.