Grab PH, Move It shoved aside gov’t order by pushing through with acquisition – solon
MANILA, Philippines — Manila 3rd District Rep. Joel Chua has sought explanations on why Grab Philippines’ acquisition of Move It pushed forward last August despite an existing order prohibiting the partnership.
During the hearing of the House committee on Metro Manila development, the panel vice chair reiterated the ruling of the Department of Transportation’s technical working group (TWG) that disallowed Grab Philippines from acquiring Move It because such merger would make Grab Philippines a de facto fourth player in the government’s motorcycle taxi pilot program.
Chua further noted the TWG’s point that Grab Philippines can only enter the motorcycle taxi sector after a law has been passed.
To recall, several transport and consumer groups decried Grab Philippines’ acquisition of Move It, alleging that it is a “backdoor” means for Grab Philippines to get into the government’s motorcycle taxi pilot program.
“Bakit po despite the fact na noong December 21, sinabihan na kayo ng TWG to permanently terminate your partnership with Grab, you defied the order of the TWG? The same division na nagbigay sa inyo ng power to participate in this pilot program?” Chua asked.
Move It’s legal counsel Ada Albana replied, denying they defied the order.
“We terminated the partnership as soon as we were given the directive from the government agencies. What transpired in August 2022 was the mere acquisition of shares of Move It. The termination that transpired in 2021 was based on the original framework between Grab and Move It wherein booking of Move It can be done on the Grab app, but this is no longer in place as we speak,” Albana said.
Currently, the Move It app can still be accessed via the platform of Grab Philippines. While passengers cannot directly book a Move It ride from the Grab app, users have access to a link that directly takes them to the Move It platform. Tips on how to book a Move It ride are also available in the Grab app, as well as a promo code for first-time users of Move It.
Chua asked Move It, “So sa tingin po ninyo hindi ito backdoor entry? Ang hindi ninyo tinuloy ‘yung partnership so ang ginawa po ninyo, binili na po ninyo. Parang mas malala po yata ‘yun.”
But Move It emphasized there is a difference in framework, the booking process, and business operation when they were pushing for the partnership compared to the current acquisition of shares by Grab Philippines.
Chua then reminded Grab Philippines and Move It that the TWG suspended their proposed partnership because Move It was part of the government’s motorcycle taxi pilot study in aid of legislation.
“The safety of the public is the primordial consideration. In fact, it was during the 17th Congress that the House passed House Resolution 2449, urging the Department of Transportation to implement the pilot program allowing, monitoring, and regulating the operation of duly registered habal-habal. Ang pinaka number one consideration po namin dito is to ensure the utmost protection and safety of the riding public. Kaya tatlo lang po ang pinayagan kasi under study pa po yan. Hindi kami against sa acquisition kaya lang po ang sinasabi lang ng TWG, wag po muna. Pwede niyo gawin yan pag may batas na,” he said.
Manila 1st District Rep. Ernix Dionisio also reminded all stakeholders present during the hearing that the main purpose of their discussion is to protect the people.
“In the grand scheme of things, andito po tayo lahat sa interes ng general public. Live and let live. Yun po ang dapat. Wala pong lamangan. Hiling ko po sana walang gahaman. It’s not all business. At the end of the day, even if you are successful businessmen, dapat andun pa rin ang pagseserbisyo sa taong bayan,” Dionisio said.
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