Grab to refund customers starting Dec. 31

Marje Pelayo   •   December 27, 2019   •   502

MANILA, Philippines – Ride-hailing firm Grab Philippines said Thursday (December 26) customers may start redeeming refunds beginning December 31.

The refund amounting to P5-M is part of the P23-million fine for Grab’s violation of its commitments to its clients such as overcharging and driver cancellations.

The said refund can be redeemed via GrabRewards provided that Grab riders complete the necessary steps such as the “know your customer” (KYC) process.

“Select Grab customers who took GrabCar rides in Metro Manila from February 10 to May 10, and as well as from May 11 to August 10, may claim their disbursements through the GrabRewards Catalogue,” Grab’s statement read.

How much can a passenger receive from the refund process?

Grab explained that the refund amount is computed depending on the total fare of the passenger within the time period multiplied by the total fine.

Thus, for every P1,200 spent on Grab rides from February 10 to May 10, or every P450 spent on the same services from May 11 to August 10, a customer is entitled to a P1.00 refund.

This, however, applies only to Grab ride bookings within Metro Manila.

Grab riders to get refund of P1 to over P100 after PCC order

Robie de Guzman   •   November 22, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Grab Philippines assured on Friday that passengers who booked a ride from February to May 2019 will get a refund as ordered by the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) for breaching its pricing commitments.

Grab Philippines President Brian Cu said in a news briefing that the P5.05 million refund that the PCC had ordered will cover around 3 million riders.

The PCC on Monday slapped Grab PH a total fine of P23.45 million for breaching its pricing commitments to the agency.

“Grab will abide by the PCC’s order to having pay the P23.45 million fine, P5.05 million of which will go to our consumers,” Cu said.

He added the refund will range from less than P1 to over P100 and would depend on the number of trips they booked during the period covering the penalty.

“If you take P5 million over 3 million, the average that a passenger would get is around P1.50. There are some that will get below a peso. There are others who will get over a P100. Depende po ‘yon kung magkano, kung gaano karaming trips tinake niya,” he explained.

Cu said they are eyeing to release the refund in the following weeks, and that affected passengers would be informed prior to the release.

In the same press conference, Cu also maintained that there was no overcharging and that Grab was compliant with that transport fare matrix of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).

“So, I just wanna clarify na hindi po nangyari ‘yong overcharging. Nagkaroon po ng deviations doon sa fare in range,” he said.

Cu said the procedure for the refund has yet to be announced.

He also assured that Grab will release the guidelines in its social media accounts and mobile app at least five days before the refund.

Likewise, Cu said the fine will not be passed to its passengers and drivers as they have contingency funds for such cases. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)

Bayan Muna to demand refund from Manila Water amid new wave of service disruption

Robie de Guzman   •   June 21, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Party-list group Bayan Muna threatens to file another complaint against Manila Water Co. Inc. amid a new wave of water service disruption affecting the east zone of Metro Manila due to dropping water level at the Angat Dam.

Bayan Muna party-list Representative Carlos Zarate said in a statement, they will file a new complaint against Manila Water to demand more rebates.

“We will definitely file another complaint against Manila Water for more rebates for their customers,” Zarate said in a statement released on Wednesday.

Last March, Bayan Muna and other groups have filed a petition urging the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) to impose sanctions against the utility firm over shortage in water supply.

READ: Bayan Muna files complaint vs Manila Water

The MWSS decided to impose a P1.13 billion fine against the Manila Water for failing to meet service requirements. Half of the penalty was supposed to go to customers in refund.

READ: Manila Water slapped with P1-B fine for supply shortage

The sanction was on top of the voluntary full bill waiver imposed by the Manila Water in April, which it said earlier would cost the company nearly P500 million.

Meanwhile, Bagong Henerasyon party-list Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy is pushing for the resumption of a hearing on the water supply woes in Metro Manila and nearby towns.

Herrera-Dy said she will file a bill in the 18th Congress seeking to prescribe the powers of government agencies tasked to manage water supply concerns.

“Since the regulators have either been slow or inept or both at doing their job, we shall file a bill that will prescribe details of their regulatory powers,” she said in a statement.

The lawmaker will also urge the government to take over these water utilities to ensure water security, transparency and accountability.

“We shall focus on is declaring the water concessionaires as public utilities,” she said,

Before the 17th Congress adjourned, the lower House was able to pass several measures seeking to resolve water supply issues, including intensified cloud seeding operations, cross-border sharing between concessionaires, water recycling and causes of non-water revenue. (with details from Grace Casin)

Meralco: P4.4B refund covers selected clients only

Marje Pelayo   •   February 14, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Meralco clarified that not all six million of its customers are entitled to the P4.4 billion refund ordered by the Energy Regulatory Board (ERC).

Meralco argued that they have already returned the amount to almost all of its customers through the Refund Management Task Force that the firm created in 2003.

“We finished it. So naibigay na ang malaking bahagi nito. Kung ito ay P30 billion naibalik na namin halos lahat sa P32 billion refund,” explained Meralco’s Spokesperson Joe Zaldarriaga.

Meralco recalled that it was in 2002 when the Supreme Court (SC) ordered the power distributor to return the P32 billion income tax collected from its customers.

After that, Meralco said, the refund for the remaining amount was given in staggered payments from 2002 to this year.

Meralco assured that every active customer is benefiting from the refund in form of reduction in electric charges.

The P4.4 billion that ERC ordered for refund until June this year is actually from terminated accounts and inactive customers.

“Kapag sinabing terminated at some point in time naging customer ka naming. Pero dumating ang punto na hindi ka na customer ng Meralco dahil yung account mo ay naputol na. Terminated na,” Zaldarriaga said.

“Kaya lang batay sa timeline mayroon pa ring terminated account na entitled sa refund at iyan ang ating hinahanap ngayon,” he added.

These terminated accounts, Meralco said, are now difficult to track that’s why a refund is near impossible.

But Meralco urges customers to just inquire at their office if they feel that they have not receive the refund yet.

Meanwhile, militant groups called on Meralco to expedite the refund process.

“Ang problema kapag naniningil ang Meralco, immediately putol. Kapag sila naman ang kailangang magbayad ay inaabot pa ng halos ilang taon na,” argued Erwin Puhawan of the People for Power Coalition.

The case of the billion peso-refund by Meralco started in 1997 when private groups complained that the utility company’s income tax should not be added to its operational expenses. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Mon Jocson)

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