MANILA, Philippines — A House panel has asked the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to retain ride-hailing giant Grab and its partner Move It in the extended motorcycle taxi pilot study.
The transportation committee chaired by Samar Rep. Edgar Mary Sarmiento urged the DOTr to reconsider the decision of its technical working group (TWG) revoking the partnership of Grab and Move It and excluding them from the pilot test.
He said the decision of the TWG to permanently revoke the partnership was against the earlier recommendation of the panel to include as many players in the pilot testing, pursuant to the equality clause in the Constitution.
“We need public transportation especially during these times. I hope that all applications by all motorcycle taxis we use now will be considered,” Sarmiento stressed in a radio interview.
He said regulators must provide equal opportunities to all motorcycle taxi providers to avoid creating a monopoly or duopoly that will only bring harm to the riding public.
Sarmiento stressed that the TWG decision was not in line with conclusions reached by the House transport committee’s own TWG.
“We studied this proposed law on motorcycle taxis, and it is clear that the goal is fair competition. No one should be favored. The platform that will be used online won’t just be the platform of a chosen one,” he said.
The partnership allowed users of Grab’s app to tap Move It’s services. To jumpstart the tandem’s service, Grab offered to its riders 1,000 free rides per day for one week.
The TWG shut down the partnership last September after only one week’s operation, leaving JoyRide and Angkas as the only two ride-hailing firms allowed to join the government’s motorcycle taxi pilot study.
Move It, in a public statement, also slammed the decision, saying the partnership went through several rounds of discussions with the DOTr’s TWG.
“We strongly condemn this maneuvering by the other stakeholders resulting to this suspension as it is anti-consumer, anti-Filipino, and is tantamount to bullying,” the smallest player in the pilot study alleged.