Grab now acts like taxi drivers in the Philippines


Following its takeover of Uber in Southeast Asia, Singapore-based Grab now has a virtual monopoly of the ride-hailing services in the Philippines. This encourages Grab drivers to act like taxi drivers who turn down passengers bound for traffic-congested routes.

Grab Philippines country head Brian Cu, in an effort to appease passengers, issued a statement that drivers who cancelled bookings at a rate of 10 percent and above in the past week may either be suspended or banned from using the Grab application.

Kabayan Party-list Rep. Ciriaco Calalang said a Grab driver should not be allowed to cancel more than 24 bookings in a day.

“Grab units were issued certificates of public convenience and provisional authority by the LTFRB [Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board]. Those documents mean the TNVS [transport network vehicle service] units are performing a public service,” Calalang said.

“If a TNVS driver cancels at least 24 accepted bookings in a day, that is an average of one cancellation per hour and that I believe is enough information and reason to conclude that driver is reneging on its commitment to perform the public service authority it got from LTFRB,” Calalang said.

Calalang claimed that Grab’s 10-percent cancellation rate method is inappropriate. “I believe 24 cancellations per day is the proper method and threshold because that is already a significant number and affects thousands of passengers,” he said.

“If Grab does not revise its cancellation rate policy soon, then LTFRB should step in to enforce discipline with appropriate sanctions ranging from CPC [certificate of public convenience] and PA [provisional authority] suspension to cancellation,” Calalang said.

Grab Philippines said it has already sanctioned around 500 drivers because of mounting complaints of booking cancellation.

Cu, Grab country head, said he expects more drivers to be disciplined in the coming days. He said drivers are allowed to cancel up to five percent of the total bookings per week.

“We will never tolerate any behavior that compromises the quality of our service. We see every post and complaint. We apologize that our services fell short. However, we will move forward. We have rolled out additional and stricter measures to address issues on cancellations and this is just the start. We promise to improve to provide the quality of service our passengers deserve,” Cu said.

“Only 5 percent cancellation rate is allowed as metric for incentives. Those with 10 percent and above cancellation rate per week may face sanctions such as suspension and complete banning from the platform. We assure our driver-partners that we will follow proper investigation and due diligence,” Cu said.

“While we do our best to further improve driver services, we hope that our passengers would also do their part and exercise the same level of commitment. We encourage our passengers to be responsible by maintaining minimal and valid cancellations and keeping wait time to no more than 7 minutes. Passengers with reported complaints my also face sanctions,” he said.

LTFRB earlier suspend Grab’s P2 per minute travel charge, which forced Grab drivers to cancel as many as 11 percent of their bookings.

Cu said it is important that Grab maintains the P2-per-minute travel charge. "Drivers have to buy gas, pay the monthly amortization for the vehicle, or the daily boundary, and when traffic stalls them, it is only the P2 per minute that saves their income. So with the P2 gone, many of our drivers earn less and drive less, if at all. No matter how willing they are to drive, they are left with no choice but to think of ways to recover their expenses. Sadly, most of them have resorted to canceling bookings especially when they know they will traverse traffic," Cu said.

24 April 2018


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