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Digital advocacy network tells Grab: Fear of overpricing has factual basis

Digital Pinoys

A network of digital advocates said today that overpricing allegations against Grab has factual basis after Grab Philippines’ Country Manager Grace De Vera said that she does not know where the fear of overpricing motorcycle taxi fare is coming from.

Reacting to De Vera’s interview with CNN Philippines’ “The Source”, Digital Pinoys National Campaigner Ronald Gustilo said that the Philippine Competition Commission ordered Grab to issue a refund after they were found to be overcharging Transport Network Vehicle Service (TNVS) passengers.

“If Grab was able to overcharge their customers despite the regulated fares of 4-wheel TNVS, it would not be crazy to assume they can do it again for motrocycle taxis. The penalty and the refund orders are proof that our fear is based on facts.”

In November 2019, December 2019, and October 2022, PCC ordered Grab to issue refunds to qualified passengers totaling P24.45 Million. As of March 2022, Grab only refunded P6.15 Million and imposed additional steps for a passenger to be refunded. PCC gave Grab until April 22, 2022, to finish the issuance of refunds straight to the passenger’s in-app wallet. PCC also slapped grab with a P63.7 Million penalty for violationg its price and service quality commitments.

“To this we ask Ms. Vera Cruz: How can you make a promise that Move It will comply with the fare regulations set by the TWG when Grab who now owns Move It made the same promise in 2018 and broke it? when Grab acquired Uber, a commitment was made to the Philippine Competition Commission that Grab will not undertake unreasonably different pricing behaviors pre- and post-transaction. Did Grab comply? Obviously not.”

Gustilo also blasted Grab for pushing through with the acquisition despite the TWG’s disapproval of a commercial partnership proposal offered by Grab to the three companies accredited by the technical working group to participate in the pilot study.

“Ms. De Vera admitted that the TWG disallowed the proposal. So we are wondering, if the commercial partnership between Grab and an accredited MC taxi operator was disallowed, in what world is the acquisition of Move It will be allowed?”

Gustilo added that the deal seems malicious as it was timed when the new government is yet to appoint a new TWG in place. He also challenged Grab to show proof they were given the green light to proceed with the acquisition.

“Grab should show proof that they sought for the approval of the deal and was given the green light. If their deal was really done in good faith, how come they did it right when the TWG is yet to be convened? This backdoor acquisition should be reviewed as soon as possible.

Reference: Ronald Gustilo, Digital Pinoys National Campaigner