Grab: Time to pass law on MC taxis

The operation of motorcycle taxis should be legalized to open the industry to more players for the benefit of the commuting public, Grab Philippines stated Thursday, Nov. 24.

Grab issued the statement following a House Committee on Metro Manila Development public hearing where regulators, lawmakers and transport stakeholders tackled proposals surrounding the safety and efficiency of motorcycle taxis.

Motorcycle taxis have yet to be officially legalized as a form of public transportation and are currently operating under a pilot study.

The government has only accredited three firms—Angkas, JoyRide and Move It—for the pilot run, which would aid in crafting laws allowing motorcycle taxis on the road.

“Putting in place a law is the win-win solution for all stakeholders, particularly our commuters who deserve an efficient and safe form of public transportation,” Grab maintained.

“Under a regulated environment, we expect to see more industry players and we welcome this as this will provide more job opportunities to Filipinos and give more choices to our commuters. Competition will make the motorcycle taxi business vibrant and its service better,” the company added.

At the hearing, Move It told lawmakers that its partnership with Grab Philippines was above board and compliant with the rules set by a technical working group (TWG) under the Department of Transportation (DOTr).

Atty. Ann Albana, legal counsel for Move It, assured committee members and stakeholders that the motorcycle ride-hailing company “will still be under the supervision of the MC Taxi TWG, and it will continue to abide by MC Taxi Guidelines, especially on the safety and welfare of the consumers.”

“We are happy to disclose that the acquisition complied with the law, and all approvals required for the acquisition have been obtained. It did not violate any requirement of the MC Taxi TWG,” she pointed out.

The Philippine Competition Commission told the public hearing that it did not see anything wrong with the acquisition because it did not breach the P50-billion threshold required under the law for a review.

Retired Col. Isais Espino of the Inter-Agency Council for Traffic representing the DOTr noted the deal between Grab and Move It was not within the purview of the TWG.

Earlier, Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista maintained that the department would not review the agreement “because it was a private transaction” and that he would want to see Congress pass the law to allow more participants in the motorcycle taxi service.

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