Ex-QC solon slams DOTr chief’s remark on Grab-Move It deal as ‘premature’
Former Quezon City 2nd district Representative and now QC Councilor Winnie Castelo has reacted to Transportation Chief Jamie Bautista’s statement regarding the Grab-Move It acquisition.
In a media interview, Bautista said he was not keen on reviewing the sale between Grab and Move It as it was done between two private companies.
Castelo, who chaired the House Committee on Metro Manila Development three times and was also the one who pushed for the Department of Transportation’s creation of the Technical Working Group (TWG) for motorcycle taxis, said, Bautista should have consulted with other stakeholders first before making such comments.
“It is so unfortunate that the statement of Secretary Bautista was premature because we were instrumental in the creation of the Technical Working Group when I was still a congressman and headed the Committee on Metro Manila Development. This was born out of the necessity to improve our transportation system,” Castelo explained during a radio interview.
The former lawmaker said the TWG disallowed Move It’s partnership with Grab in December 2021. The TWG has also issued a directive that Grab can only enter the motorcycle taxi industry after passing the law.
READ: DOTr’s TWG suspends Grab-Move It partnership
Castelo said it would be best for the Transportation Chief to determine all the facts first before issuing statements.
“The acquisition itself may be legal in all aspects but was his statement trying to imply as well that the transport groups and all members of the TWG were wrong when they summarily disallowed Move It from partnering with Grab in December of 2021?” Castelo asked.
The former lawmaker added that Grab and Move It are trying to circumvent the current rules and regulations concerning motorcycle taxis, stressing that Grab should not be allowed to jump into the pilot program without consulting.
“In order for us to get honest, well thought [out]and transparent assessment in the TWG, we should limit the deliberations of the assessment only among the three accredited companies–Angkas, Joy Ride and Move It. Kung papapasukin ang isang player na hindi initially accepted, ang worry po dito, hilaw ang magiging batas natin dahil ito ay polluted na. Ang pinaka priority natin dito is to come up with a law that would truly be reflective of the needs of our commuters and riders,” Castelo said.
Grab announced it had acquired Move It last Aug 5, 2022, which technically allows it to enter the market for motorcycle taxis.
Through TWG’s pilot study for motorcycle taxis, the government granted a provisional license to operate to only three motorcycle companies: Angkas, Joy Ride, and Move It.
Some transport, civic, and rider groups cried foul after the said acquisition because they felt it was a backdoor entry into the government pilot study.
Manila Third District Representative Atty. Joel Chua said he would be opening a congressional inquiry regarding the Grab acquisition of Move It. “We will push through with the investigation in aid of legislation for us to shed more light about the issue as well as push for the passage of the Motorcycle Taxi bill into law,” Chua said.
Castelo, Chua, along with transport, civic, and rider groups, are calling on Bautista to immediately convene the TWG to conclude the pilot study and work with Congress to pass the motorcycle taxi bill into law.
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