Grab summoned by Philippine transport regulator to explain thousands of unaccredited drivers

Grab has some explaining to do.

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Grab summoned by Philippine transport regulator to explain thousands of unaccredited drivers

The Philippines Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) announced on Thursday that it’s summoning ride-hailing operator Grab to appear before the board on June 11, Philippine news outlet Business World reports.

The LTFRB asked Grab to explain why the platform has thousands of unaccredited drivers.

Earlier this week, Grab said that it will deactivate more than 8,000 drivers in the country by June 10, because they were found not to have the required LTFRB permits. The ride-hailing company said with this measure it’s helping to enforce the strict rules imposed by the regulator.

But LTRFB isn’t just letting this one slide.

According to Business World, the authority says it regularly sends Grab a list of drivers who have applied for the accreditation, which means those who do not hold the appropriate accreditation should have already been deactivated as per LTFRB’s previous order.

Grab has been complaining about a shortage of cars and drivers on its platform in the Philippines, and appealed to the transport authority to open up more slots for applications so it can bring more partners on board. The Philippines has a quota for how many drivers can get this accreditation.

However, there seems to be a mismatch between the number of drivers LTFBR has already approved and those who are actually driving for Grab at a given time.

LTFRB chairperson Martin Delgra III, as quoted by local media outlet Inquirer.net, said that the number of active drivers is far lower than the number of people who have received accreditation. “Ideally, if all those who were accredited were online, they should be able to serve all the bookings,” Delgra said.

Moreover, according to the order issued by LTFRB  yesterday, as of June 6, 5,000 drivers can still apply for accreditation before the quota is full.

A possible explanation is that high churn is making it difficult to maintain a stable fleet. If already accredited drivers are leaving Grab’s platform at a faster pace than new ones can apply and get accredited, there’s a gap which might have lead to drivers stepping in who haven’t yet begun the LTFRB’s permit process.

Grab declined to comment when contacted by KrASIA, but emphasized that Grab drivers need to be accredited to remain in the network.

“If a Grab driver’s profile shows you that [his] LTFRB number is still [being processed], it only means two things: Either [he] applied but has yet to be accredited, or [he] really didn’t apply,” Delgra told Inquirer.net. “What we want to hear from Grab is how many drivers really failed to apply at all.”