Group seeks probe on Grab-Move It merger

Delon Porcalla - The Philippine Star
Group seeks probe on Grab-Move It merger
Manila Rep. Joel Chua speaks during a consultation meeting with motorcycle taxi riders at the lawmaker’s office in Quiapo, Manila yesterday.
Edd Gumban

MANILA, Philippines — A motorcycle taxi riders’ group is seeking a congressional inquiry into the reported “backdoor” acquisition by ride-hailing app Grab Philippines of motorcycle taxi operator Move It.

Rod Cruz, national chairman of Arangkada Riders Alliance, yesterday urged Manila Rep. Joel Chua to conduct a probe, saying the merger “jeopardizes the integrity of the government’s three-year-old pilot study on motorcycle taxis.”

Under the pilot study initiated by former transportation secretary Arthur Tugade, Cruz said Congress should pass the law granting a franchise to motorcycle taxis to regulate these service providers.

“Commuters remain vulnerable until a law regulating motorcycle taxis is passed. The backdoor entry of Grab Philippines in the motorcycle taxi pilot study places the riding public at risk,” Cruz, vice chairman of the House commitee on Metro Manila development, said.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has formed a technical working group (TWG) to look into the possibility of two-wheel vehicles operating as public transport.

The group said Grab should have filed for an accreditation with the TWG before acquiring Move It.

Former Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board member Ariel Inton said the merger violated the rules set by the DOTr.

“Grab withdrew its motorcycle taxi application years back, and then surprised everyone by news that they have acquired Move It,” he said.

Inton, a former Quezon City councilor, is the lead convenor of the Lawyers for Commuters’ Safety and Protection.

Last year, the TWG ordered Move It to terminate its partnership with Grab and stated that allowing the tie-up would make Grab a de facto fourth player, which is not allowed under the pilot program.



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