Senator Leila M. de Lima has urged the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to monitor the exorbitant fare rates and difficulty in booking on ride-hailing platform Grab Philippines this holiday season to ensure that commuters’ rights are not abused.
De Lima, a social justice and human rights champion, said it has come to her attention that the booking prices of Grab have surged lately and that it has become harder for passengers to book a ride, especially during rush hours.
“The ride-hailing app company points to higher demand as the cause. This comes at the heels of Grab being asked by authorities to refund its customers for overpricing the cost of their rides,” she said in her recent Dispatch from Crame No. 677.
“Nananawagan tayo sa ating mga awtoridad na masusing bantayan ito, at siguruhing walang nangyayaring pagsasamantala. Sa ganitong paraan, pare-pareho nating mararating ang gusto nating destinasyon: ang maaliwalas na biyahe kung saan walang nadedehadong Pilipino,” she added.
Amid the holiday rush, several Grab users have complained about the sudden rise of fare rates and difficulty in getting a ride, which the ride-hailing company blamed on higher demand and limited cars that could serve a big number of passengers.
In a data reportedly provided by Grab, it showed that it is receiving around 700,000 to 800,000 booking requests a day but there are only 35,000 to 36,000 Grab drivers plying the road daily.
Last month, it may be recalled that the Philippine Competition Commission ordered Grab Philippines to refund PhP5.05 million to affected riders for breaching their price commitments.
The lady Senator from Bicol, meanwhile, appealed to Grab not to deceive passengers this Yuletide season and make sure that they provide them proper service.
“Asking your users for more patience is not enough. Ensure you are fully committed to the rights of your consumers. Do not take them for a ride with excuses; do not deceive or cheat them,” she said.
“Sa kabila ng mas mahal na pamasahe, marami nating kababayan ang gumagamit ng mga ganitong app para makaiwas sa kalbaryong dulot ng napakabigat na traffic, para hindi ma-late sa trabaho, makaltasan ng sweldo, mapagalitan ng boss, at lalo na, para makauwi nang mas maaga at makapiling ang pamilya. Suklian naman sana ang pagtangkilik na ito ng malasakit, maayos at makatarungang serbisyo para sa kanila,” she added.
This 18th Congress, De Lima filed Senate Bill No. 1165, or the “Passenger Transit Rights Acts of 2019,” which seeks to establish clear standards for service for the riding public and provide relief against unprofessional and abusive drivers. (30)