Grab Philippines has been barred from entering the motorcycle taxi business after the government’s motorcycle taxi technical working group (TWG) told it to permanently dissolve its partnership with Move It, months after it was suspended.
This leaves the three original players – Angkas, Joyride and Move It – to operate in the fast-growing segment.
In a December 10 letter to Move It CEO Francis Juan, the TWG said its members decided to “permanently terminate” their partnership with Grab Philippines.
Allowing the tie-up to continue will make Grab Philippines “the fourth de facto player, which is not allowed under existing conditions of the pilot study”, the TWG said in the letter.
The TWG ordered the suspension of the partnership on September 30 after a week of operations.
This prompted Juan to issue a strongly worded statement calling out the TWG and its rivals for “bullying” the “smallest player in the pilot”. He said the move was also anti-competitive.
The taxi motorcycle TWG made references to satisfying other stakeholders in its letter.
“[A]llowing the collaboration to proceed will only rekindle the issues that were raised by the complainants and will further put the MC Taxi TWG in a very tight and compromising position from both the House of Congress and Senate, the two other players and the stakeholders.”
Despite their short collaboration, the TWG acknowledged that Grab and Move it were successful in recruiting more drivers.
“The MC Taxi TWG was very pleased to know that you were able to onboard substantial numbers of riders that [were] enough to carry out Move It’s role in the pilot study,” it said in the letter.
“Nevertheless, the pilot study is now on its concluding stage, thus, onboarding new recruits may no longer be necessary at this point in time,” the TWG said.
It added that Grab Philippines may choose to enter the motorcycle taxi sector after a law legalising the segment is passed.
The letter was signed by retired Brigadier General Manuel Gonzales and retired Police Colonel Joel Pernito, who sit as co-chairs of the TWG.
PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER/ASIA NEWS NETWORK