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Grab warned over moto taxi

There were allegations that Angkas is a dummy of GrabBike, which discontinued operation in 2016 pending compliance to government regulations
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Maria Romero

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The Department of Transportation (DoTr) Inter-Agency Motorcycle Taxi Technical Working Group (TWG) yesterday warned Grab Philippines of possible legal sanction in connection to the recent activation of its GrabBike feature.

DoTr Assistant Secretary Bert Suansing said the DoTr-TWG will not hesitate to impose sanctions against Grab Philippines if found violating government policies and guidelines.

The Senate committees on public services and local government are scheduled to conduct a joint public hearing on the use of motorcycles as public utility vehicles on Tuesday.

“If they (Grab) are conducting tests that include the deployment of the motorcycle, then they are violating the rule as they are not part of the program,” Suansing told the Daily Tribune.

Suansing firmly stated the DoTr will no longer accept new transport network companies (TNC) to join the ongoing motorcycle taxi pilot implementation run.

For her part, DoTr Assistant Secretary Goddes Libiran vowed to look into GrabBike’s recent activation and if this violated rules on TNC.

Stubborn interest
“We will look into this. These (TNC) are stubborn,” Libiran told the Daily Tribune.

Despite this, Grab Philippines head Brian Cu’s latest social media pronouncement hinted that GrabBike might be making a return sooner than later.

Last Thursday night, Cu posted in his Facebook account screen captures showing the availability of GrabBike on the local Grab app. The option was listed as “Grab-Bike TEST.”

The supposed “accidental” turn off of GrabBike application happened amid the controversies hounding Angkas which was threatened by the DoTr-TWG to be blacklisted for defiance to the revised guidelines.

There were allegations that Angkas is a dummy of GrabBike, which discontinued operation in 2016 pending compliance to government regulations.

George Royeca, who is claiming 60 percent of DBDOYC, the corporate name of Angkas, denied the dummy allegation.

Prior to this, the DoTr-TWG cited articles of incorporation by DBDOYC stating it is 99.996 percent owned by Singaporean Angeline Xiwen Tham, wife of Royeca, who previously headed GrabBike.

Conflicting claims
Documents obtained by the Daily Tribune from Angkas’ legal counsel Divina Law Office, however, showed that Angkas or DBDOYC is now “60 percent owned by Mr. George Royeca, a Filipino national.”

In an interview, Royeca claimed that the remaining 40 percent is owned by Tham and four others.

“Documents regarding the majority ownership of Mr. Royeca are a matter of public record. It appears that the purveyors of the incorrect report either relied on the original incorporation documents of the corporation or the General Information Sheet which takes time to be updated considering it takes time to be updated considering it is only filed annually,” Angkas said.

Under Republic Act 7042 or the Foreign Investment Act of 1991, corporations organized under the laws of the Philippines requires that at least 60 percent of the capital stock outstanding and entitled to vote is owned and held by a Filipino citizen.

Petition denied
In another development, a Quezon City court junked Angkas’ move to stop Move It and JoyRide from participating in the ongoing pilot study of motorcycle taxi.

However, the Quezon City Regional Trial Court 223 gave Angkas another reprieve on the cut on its fleet cut imposed by DoTr-TWG after issuing a 20-day temporary restraining order (TRO).

In her decision issued Friday, Quezon City RTC Branch 223 Judge Catherine Manodon cited the case of Primo co vs. The Philippine Canine Club in junking Angkas’ petition against JoyRide and Move it.

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