Grab, Move It defied previous gov’t order, says solon

Manila Third District Representative Atty. Joel Chua questioned the move of Move It officials and asked them for an explanation why they pushed through with the acquisition by Grab Philippines last August when there was a previous DoTR-TWG order suspending the partnership between the two companies.

During the House Committee on Metro Manila Development hearing, Chua — who is also the committee’s vice chairman — reiterated the TWG’s previous ruling that prohibits Grab and Move It’s partnership because allowing the said partnership will make Grab a de facto fourth player in the government’s motorcycle taxi pilot program.

Furthermore, the TWG stated that Grab can only enter the motorcycle taxi sector after a law has been passed.

To recall, several transport and consumer groups decried Grab’s acquisition of Move It, alleging it was Grab’s way of getting into the government’s motorcycle taxi pilot program through a ‘backdoor.’

Meantime, Move It legal counsel Atty. Ada Albana said Grab and Move It did not defy instructions from government agencies.

“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 from the Grab platform. 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 as well as a promo code for first time users.

“So do you think that it’s not a backdoor entry?” asked Chua.

However, Move It emphasized there is a difference in framework, process of booking, and operation of business when they were pushing for the partnership compared to the current acquisition by Grab.

Chua reminded Grab and Move It that the reason why the TWG suspended their proposed partnership was 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,” said Chua.

“Our priority consideration is to ensure the utmost protection and safety of the riding public,” he added.

Meanwhile, Manila First District Representative Ernix Dionisio 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, we are here because of the general public’s interest. Live and let live. It’s not all business. At the end of the day, even if you are successful businessmen, you should still serve the people,” said Dionisio.

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