LTFRB warns sanctions vs ride-hailing firms overcharging during holiday season

Robie de Guzman

MANILA, Philippines – The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has warned to revoke the permits of Transport Network Companies (TNC) who will be found guilty of exacting exorbitant fares from the riding public this holiday season.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the LTFRB said it issued the warning following increasing complaints of lack of Transport Network Vehicle Service (TNVS) units and continuous overcharging as noted by commuters this month.

“To the TNCs, do not abuse the clamor for TNVS this holiday season, hindi kami magdadalawang isip na tanggalan kayo ng permit kung kayo ay lalabag sa mga mandato na nakasaad sa inyong kontrata.” LTFRB chairman Martin Delgra said.

Delgra said the Board has called for a meeting with the app-based ride-hailing services this week to discuss the issue.

“To date, the agency has already issued around 49,000 Provisional Authorities and 11,000 Certificate of Public Convenience (CPCs) totaling to an approximate 60,000 permits given to TNVS in order for them to operate and to accommodate the need for additional public land transport. Ang tanong dito ay bakit kakaunti ang tumatakbong units?” Delgra said.

“The TNCs have to clarify this to us and to the riding public,” he added.

The Board also reminded the ride-hailing firms to strictly follow the approve fare structure guidelines, adding that they are continuously reviewing and monitoring the fare setting computation to determine any violation.

In the fare matrix approved by the LTFRB in August, TNVS companies are allowed to charge a flag down rate of up to P40 for car sedans, up to P50 for premium sport utility vehicles (SUV), and up to P30 for hatchbacks or sub-compact vehicles.

The Board also allowed a P15 additional charge per kilometer for sedans, P18 for SUVs, and P13 for hatchbacks, aside from the P2 charge per minute of travel. It also allowed TNVS firms to double their per kilometer and per minute charge through surge pricing.

The TNCs accredited by the LTFRB are Grab, Hype, Hirna, Owto, MiCab, Go Lag, ePickMeUp, SnappyCab, and Ryd.

Earlier this week, Grab was penalized by the Philippine Competition Commission for allegedly breaching its commitments on pricing and driver cancellation rates.

Lawmakers have also called on the LTFRB to review Grab face matrix amid reports of sudden surge pricing.

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