Solon eyes House probe on TNVS deal

Manila Third District Representative Joel Chua announced on Wednesday that motorcycle taxi riders and civic organizations including Tricycle Operator Driver Association groups are urging concerned government agencies to discuss issues of concern affecting the motorcycle taxi and delivery industry.

The lawmaker said that one of the biggest concerns was reports of Grab Philippines acquiring accredited motorcycle taxi operator Move It.

ARANGKADA Riders Alliance National Chairman Rod Cruz, one of the groups in the dialogue, called for a congressional investigation on the acquisition as it jeopardizes the integrity of the government’s three-year-old pilot program on motorcycle taxis.

“What the driver groups want is for the pilot study under the DoTr that began three years ago with the purpose of drafting a law that governs the operation of motorcycle taxis be concluded first, and the law passed to finally have proper regulations in place before any more such moves such as the Grab Philippines acquisition of Move It happen,” said Cruz.

To recall, Department of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade instructed various agencies to form a Motorcycle Technical Working Group to discuss issues to the possibility of two-wheel vehicles operating as public transport.

The TWG composed of the DoTr, Land Transportation Office, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group, Metro Manila Development Authority, Senate, House of Representatives, commuter welfare groups, road safety advocates, motorcycle manufacturers, motorcycle organizations, and law schools were mandated to discuss the standards and capacities, most especially on the aspect of safety, of a motorcycle and its driver for public transportation service.

“All riders and the riding public remain vulnerable until a law that defines proper rules and regulations is passed. And such underhanded moves, like the backdoor entry of Grab Philippines to the pilot program further places everyone at risk,” said Cruz.

The group also reiterated that the proper way by which Grab Philippines could have entered the pilot program was through filing for accreditation with the Technical Working Group.

“The problem with this scenario is that Move It general manager Wayne Jacinto — who was the former Grab Philippines Driver operations head — is keen on playing dumb by saying that the move by Grab is not a back door entry into the program,” said Atty. Ariel Inton of Lawyers for Commuters Safety and Protection.

“The front door would have been filing for accreditation, but if you recall, Grab Philippines withdrew its motorcycle taxi application years back and then surprised everyone by news that they have acquired Move It,” he added.

According to the Lawyers for Commuters Safety and Protection lead convenor, there have already been precedents with this move.

In September of 2021, the Motorcycle Taxi Technical Working Group suspended the partnership between Grab PH Holdings Inc. and We-Load Transcargo Corporation which would have allowed Move It to offer its motorcycle-taxi-hailing services to more passengers through Grab PH’s platform.

In December of 2021, the TWG instructed Move It to permanently terminate its partnership with Grab PH and stated that allowing the tie-up to continue will make Grab a de facto fourth player, which is not allowed under the pilot program. Furthermore, according to the TWG, Grab PH may enter the motorcycle taxi sector after a law regulating the sector is passed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *