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Grab Pleased With P5 Million Fine, Defends the LTFRB

According to Grab's country head, the outcome was the least disruptive course of action.
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Grab Philippines' Country Head Brian Cu says that the company is "pleased" after the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board slapped their company (as well competitor Uber) a P5 million fine each due to major violations. 

In a statement on the Grab Philippines Facebook page, Cu says that Grab accepts LTFRB’s five-million-peso penalty as “judicious and fair” and stated that they fully trust that the LTFRB will allocate the funds toward public transportation improvement. Cu added that the outcome was the least disruptive course of action.

Despite public outrage on the fine, Grab even defended the board, stating that individuals making claims of illegality “should reconsider their libelous and derogatory statements as they just seem ignorant of laws and other legal processes.”

According to the LTFRB's claims, Grab and Uber failed to ensure that drivers possessed permits before beginning operations. Without either a Provisional Authority (PA) permit valid for 45 days or a Certificate of Public Convenience (CPC) franchise valid for a year, drivers who are working under transport network vehicle services (TNVS) are considered illegal “colorum” drivers. Currently, Grab and Uber handle 27,000 to 28,000 drivers each, and only 3,000 to 4,000 possess PAs or CPCs. Many of these colorum drivers were unable to acquire permits after the LTFRB Memorandum Circular (MC) 2016-008 suspended the issuance of PAs in July 21, 2016.

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Aside from violations of the permit policy, Grab and Uber also violated LTFRB’s mandate (LTFRB MC 2015-016) to display LTFRB accreditation case number in the app and to screen the before recommending them for LTFRB accreditation.

Existing drivers will be allowed to retain TNVS status, however Grab and Uber will not activate new drivers starting July 17, Monday. Passengers, however, can still employ their services.

Uber has yet to release an official statement on the matter.

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Anri Ichimura
Staff Writer, Esquire Philippines
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