MANILA, Philippines — An advocacy group on Thursday said Grab Philippines' acquisition of motorcycle taxi firm MoveIt would ultimately benefit the riding public despite fears that the move would increase motorcycle taxi fares.
Atty. Time Abejo, convenor of CitizenWatch Philippines, made the statement following a recent call of transport consumer groups to look into the investment agreement between the two ride-hailing firms, under which MoveIt will not be merged with Grab and will continue to operate on its own platform.
Abejo said the recent development between Grab and MoveIt would foster competition among motorcycle taxi apps.
"Players in any given field must not shun competition but instead welcome it as an opportunity to improve themselves and strive to work better for the public," Abejo said.
Abejo added that Grab intends to use its resources to level up MoveIt's services "in order to achieve a more vibrant and competitive moto-taxi market which will ultimately benefit the riding public."
On the other hand, a group of lawyers representing transport consumers said that the entry of new players in the industry should occur when proper regulations and rules have been drafted already.
A network of digital advocates and civic transport groups also feared that the entry of Grab Philippines into the motorcycle taxi sector may cause fare hikes.
However, Abejo said the investment deal between Grab and MoveIt "was conceived as a response to the difficulties encountered by the riding public especially as the economy reopens and schools resume face-to-face classes."
"The current state of public transportation has been having difficulty coping with the influx of daily commuters, leaving them literally and figuratively stranded as they make their way back into the new normal. Other options are simply too expensive for the average income earner or allowance receiver to afford," he added.
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