DOTr Wants More Control over Grab, TNCs’ Fares

Should Transportation Network Companies be more strictly regulated by the government? Apparently they should, according to the Department of Transportation (DOTr).

In an interview with Transport Undersecretary Tim Orbos, some rules, such as those that allowed TNCs like Grab to create their own fare matrices (under Department Order (DO) No. 2015-011), should be cancelled–or the very least, modified.

“We have to remember that when this DO was issued in 2015, TNCs did not have the kind of impact that they have now; hence, the need for more regulatory control,” he said to the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

DOTr Wants More Control over Grab, TNCs’ Fares

Questionable Authority

This rule, which took effect in 2015 by then-Transport Secretary Joseph Abaya, is the basis by which Grab imposes its current rates, like the minimum base rates of PHP80 to P125, and the PHP2 per minute travel charge.

However, its freedom to exercise these rates are questioned for their validity, since Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) officials insist that they were implemented without their knowledge. This led to the travel charge suspension.

LTFRB Martin Delgra once stated that giving the TNCs authority to impose their fares contradict their rule of regulating transportation fares.

Limited TNR Influence

Orbos is thinking of a possible amendment that will regulate TNCs and how they charge their rates. “For example, TNCs would be mandated to file a petition before the LTFRB before they could impose fare hikes.”

He also added that they’re looking into regulating the price surges that Grab charges during peak hours.

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