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PCC orders Grab to refund passengers another P14.15M


Anti-trust watchdog Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) on Wednesday ordered Grab Philippines to refund another P14.15 million for violating its voluntary commitments, on top of the P5.05 million refund earlier announced.

"Passengers who availed of Grab’s service between May 11 to August 10 this year, or the fourth quarter of the initial undertaking, shall expect the rebate within 60 days through GrabPay credits," the PCC said. 

For its part, Grab said it will comply and pay out the total P16.15 million in fines.

"Yes, we will comply," Grab Philippines president Brian Cu said in a separate text message.

"The disbursement will happen no later than February 10, 2020, with a corresponding communication to the relevant passengers five days prior to the disbursement," the company said.

"As the new monitoring year begins with the new system-wide average monitoring scheme, Grab is hopeful in fulfilling its commitments to the PCC, however, it highlights that as a platform, pricing will still be influenced by factors such as lack of supply and the traffic situation."

The fine totals P16.15 million -- P14.15 million for the "extraordinary" deviation on its pricing commitment, and P2 million for exceeding driver cancellations at 7.76%, above the commitment of 5%.

According to the PCC, the P2 million will be remitted to the national government, while the remaining amount will be paid back to passengers who took trips between May 11 and August 10, 2019.

"It's only P14.15 million which will be refunded to passengers. That's the part of the last fine corresponding to their pricing commitment," PCC Commissioner Johannes Benjamin Bernabe said in a text message.

"The balance of P2 million is for another breach relating to their service quality commitment. This P2 million will be remitted to the National Treasury," he added.

Under the order, the passengers can expect the refund within 60 days after the decision was made on December 13.

"Passengers who availed of Grab’s service between May 11 to August 10 this year, or the fourth quarter of the initial undertaking, shall expect the rebate within 60 days through GrabPay credits," the PCC said in a statement.

GMA News Online has reached out to Grab Philippines, which confirmed that the company will comply with the order,and release a statement later in the day.

"Yes, we will comply," Grab Philippines president Brian Cu said in a separate text message.

This is not the first time that the PCC imposed penalties against Grab, as the company was fined P23.3 million — including a P5-million refund — in November, also for violating its voluntary commitments.

Grab was also fined P6.5 million in January this year for submitting incorrect data on its voluntary commitments.

In 2018, the PCC also imposed P16 million in fines against grab and Uber for "undue difficulties" during a review of the merger agreement. —KBK, GMA News

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