Lawmaker questions Grab’s purchase of Move It shares

Shiela Crisostomo - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines —  Manila Rep. Joel Chua has questioned Grab’s purchase of Move It’s shares of stock, saying this violated an earlier Department of Transportation (DOTr) Technical Working Group (TWG) order to terminate the two firms’ partnership.

In a recent hearing of the House committee on Metro Manila development, of which Chua is vice chairman, he said the prohibition was made because the partnership would make Grab a “de facto fourth player” in the government’s motorcycle taxi pilot program.

The two other firms involved in the program are JoyRide PH and Angkas.

The order stemmed from complaints by several transport and consumer groups that Grab’s acquisition of Move It was Grab’s way of getting into the program through the “back door.”

“Why is it that while in December (2021) you were asked by the TWG to permanently terminate the partnership with Grab, you defied the order of the TWG?” Chua asked.

Move It legal counsel Ada Albana said Grab and Move It did not defy the order as they terminated the partnership in 2021 as soon as they were given the instructions.

Albana said that what transpired in August 2022 “was the mere acquisition of shares of Move It.”

Chua, however, questioned the move, saying that share acquisition is still violative of the TWG directive.

“You think that is not a back door entry? You did not push through with the partnership, but what you did was acquire shares. I think it is much worse,” he said.              

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