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Stop 'Illegal' Priority Booking Fees, Senator Asks LTFRB

Transport operators can't be choosy.
by Clara Rosales
Just now
Photo/s: Jerome Ascano

Transport regulators must fight "illegal" priority booking fees that some ride-hailing platforms are charging, the head of the Senate public services committee said, as hordes of commuters returning to their offices grapple with a lack of rides.

Priority booking fees are implemented across several TNVS, ride-hailing apps, and delivery services, usually during rush hour as demand rises for riders and drivers due to an increase in passengers or customers. Users can opt to pay the fee during lunch or dinner for food delivery apps.

"Hindi dapat namimili ng pasahero ang ating mga pampublikong transportasyon," Sen. Grace Poe said in a statement.


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"Many shell out additional money painstakingly carved out of the family's budget to avail of ride-hailing services in order to lessen the agony of the daily commute. We must not allow any unreasonable charges to commuters who are all affected by rising costs and economic hardship," she added.

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Priority fees can go for as low as P20 or as high as a customer is willing to pay. Some services charge a priority fee based on percentage from the total amount paid. Ideally, adding a priority fee will bump you to the top of the booking list, which can link you to a rider or driver faster.

Passengers who can't afford to add extra are bumped down the list in favor of those who can pay the fee.

"Kailangang manindigan ng Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board laban sa anumang iligal na priority booking fee, kung saan maaaring pumili ng pasaherong makapagbibigay ng mas malaking bayad--kaysa ibang hindi na kaya pang magdagdag ng anumang halaga," Poe said.

"We expect the agency to expeditiously address all challenges to ensure that no such mechanism can victimize our hapless commuters. Public interest is paramount in the operations of public transportation," she added.

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