Don’t overcharge amid holiday rush

Wenilyn Sabalo

PUBLIC transport operators and drivers usually cash in on the holiday rush but they should not turn abusive and overcharge their passengers.

The days leading to Christmas have more people going out shopping to complete their gift lists but finding transportation is the challenge. Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) 7 Director Eduardo Montealto Jr. said Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019, drivers of public transport facilities, including those Transportation Network Vehicle Services (TNVS), tend to have more passengers these days but they should not resort to overcharging them or cancelling booked rides.

Montealto said that, so far, he has not received complaints of overcharging but he reminded all the TNVS that their franchise is just a privilege that could be cancelled if they violated the rules.

Anyone who commits violations such as overcharging or choosing passengers may be fined P5,000 for the first offense, P10,000 for the second offense, P15,000 and suspension of franchise for 30 days or possible cancellation of franchise for the third offense, he said.

Montealto called on the riding public to become the agency’s force multiplier to prevent abuses. “Sumbong mo diri sa amoa, dili mahadlok, kuhaon ninyo ang plate number. Kung makuha ninyo ang ngalan sa driver mas maayo. Dayon take note unsay date ug oras. Formalize your request and we will summon them in that particular unit ug sa Grab mismo. Kasagaran mahadlok man. Kini man gung illegal activities dili ni mahunong kung dili ta magtinabangay,” he added.

(File a complaint with us. Get the license plate number. If you can get the driver’s name, better. Take note of the date and time of incident. Formalize your request and we will call the erring driver. Do not be afraid. These illegal activities will not stop if we are not vigilant and help each other.)

In Manila, the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) has imposed a fine of P16.15 million on Grab Philippines for violating its price and service quality commitments from May to August 2019.

Passengers who availed themselves of Grab’s services between May 11 and Aug. 10, 2019 may expect the rebate within 60 days through GrabPay credits, the PCC said in a statement.

The fine is the latest in a string of penalties imposed by the anti-trust body on Grab, a ride-hailing platform that offers booking service for taxis, private cars and motorbikes through mobile.

Grab was fined P11.3 million in the first quarter of its undertaking, P7.1 million in the second quarter, and P5.05 million in the third quarter.

For the fourth quarter, covering the period May to August, the PCC ordered Grab on Friday, Dec. 13, to pay a total fine of P16.15 million, broken down as follows: P14.15 million for the “extraordinary deviation” from its pricing commitment and P2 million for exceeding driver cancellations at 7.76 percent instead of the committed five percent.

The fines imposed in the third and fourth quarters, which total P21.2 million, will be refunded to qualified passengers.

The PCC has been monitoring Grab’s compliance with its voluntary commitments since it absorbed Uber, which exited the Philippines in April 2018.

Grab Holdings Inc. and MyTaxi.PH Inc. had acquired the assets of Uber B.V. and Uber Systems Inc. in the Philippines as well as in Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. (With MVI, SunStar Philippines)