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LTFRB to go after choosy ride-sharing drivers

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TNV LTFRB

THE Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) said it will issue show-cause orders against ride-sharing drivers who reject rides and cancel bookings.

“We will issue show-cause orders against those drivers,” LTFRB Board Member Aileen Lourdes A. Lizada told reporters in a message.

Ms. Lizada, however, did not give any further details. A show-cause order recipient is typically asked to explain why a regulator should not impose sanctions or cancel a license.

Ms. Lizada issued the statement amid reports that ride-sharing drivers are refusing trips.

Some users of the Grab Philippines (MyTaxi.PH, Inc.) service are claiming that drivers nearby are refusing pickups because of their destinations. Some also accept bookings, then ask the rider to cancel the trip, in order for the refusal not to register on the company’s analytics.

The LTFRB last week issued a show-case order asking Grab to explain its P2 per-minute waiting time charge.

Grab has said it has been transparent with its pricing. It added that the charges ensure that drivers are compensated for waiting in heavy traffic.

The agency also ordered the transport network company (TNC) to lower its surge rate to 1.5x from 2.0x while the petitions for accreditation of other TNCs are being processed. Four TNCs are applying for accreditation with the LTFRB.

Grab is also facing a review by the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) over its acquisition of a rival’s Southeast Asian operations.

The PCC on Monday said that Grab and Uber Philippines (Uber Systems, Inc.) must explain by April 17 why they failed to continue operating the Uber platform, as required by the interim measures of the PCC.

The PCC ordered the two ride-sharing companies to continue operating independently pending the antitrust body’s review of Grab’s acquisition of Uber’s ride-sharing and food delivery businesses.

Grab extended the operations of the Uber Philippines application up to April 15, despite the former’s objections to the order of the PCC. The Uber app was first scheduled to go offline on April 8.

Uber Philippines sent notifications on April 15 to users that as of April 16, the app will no longer be available.

The PCC said that Grab’s buyout of Uber “will mean gobbling up 93% of the ride-hailing market.” — Patrizia Paola C. Marcelo