Marcos eyes ease of restrictions for Grab, TNVS operators

Ian Laqui - Philstar.com
Marcos eyes ease of restrictions for Grab, TNVS operators
A woman walks past the Grab transport office in Singapore on September 24, 2018.
AFP / Roslan Rahman

MANILA, Philippines — Relaxed restrictions for transportation network vehicle services (TNVS) and the legalization of motorcycle taxis are being considered by the government, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said on Tuesday.

In a press release by the Presidential Communications Office (PCO), it said that Marcos welcomed the contribution of Grab for “generating local employment in the country.”

“We’re working with Grab to legalize motorcycle taxis and relax regulations on TNVS,” Marcos said in a Facebook post

“More transport options will benefit commuters, drivers and MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises),” he added. 

Marcos also said that the Singapore-based ride-sharing company contributed to the decrease in unemployment and the 1.1% increase in employment in the “past year and a half.”

“That was Grab, so that’s the 300,000 that we’re talking about has a significant effect,” Marcos said.

In the most recent unemployment rate data, the Philippine Statistics Authority revealed a decline of 181,000 jobs in the transportation and storage sectors between November 2023 and December 2023.

According to the PCO, Grab asked for Marcos’ support on the increase of its ridership to 500,00 rides a day coming from the current 300,000 number.

To achieve this, Grab Holdings Inc. co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Anthony Tan suggested regulating TNVS by lifting the supply cap and legalizing motorcycle taxis.

The ride-sharing company also lodged the removal of the supply cap on February 10 to meet the demand for 100,000 transport network vehicle services licenses in 2023.

However, the Department of Transportation said that the removal of the supply cap will need further study, which “will be based on the consultation and data provided by the transportation network companies and other relevant data.” 

According to the website of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, if an individual wants to convert one's automobile from a public utility vehicle to a TNVS, it needs to secure a provisional authority from the agency.

The provisional authority is the same “permit” that the jeepney operators need to secure for them to operate, while they undergo a consolidation, with deadline extended to April 2024. 

RELATED: '3 months': Marcos extends PUV consolidation deadline to April 30

The regulations for jeepneys stipulate that they must be affiliated with either a cooperative or a corporation, a condition criticized by jeepney drivers who argue that it compels them to participate in the modernization program.

In 2023, Grab generated over 100,000 driver and operator positions and digitized more than 15,000 MSMEs, according to the PCO.

GrabCar operates its 25 cities while its food delivery service, GrabFood, serves over 100 cities across the country.

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