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PREVENT MONOPOLY IN RIDE-HAILING SERVICES – CASTELO

“With the takeover of Grab of the operations of Uber, the ride-hailing industry in the Philippines becomes a virtual monopoly, thereby removing the options or alternatives of Filipinos to choose which company can provide a faster, cheaper, and better service. This monopoly should be averted at the soonest possible time.”

This monopoly should be averted at the soonest possible time.

This according to Quezon City Rep. Winnie Castelo, chairman of the House Committee on Metro Manila Development, the national capital region (NCR) being the area where the services of transport network vehicle service (TNVS) is widely used.

The Singapore-based Grab announced last week its acquisition of rival US-based Uber’s operations in Southeast Asia.
With the deal, Grab takes over the operations of Uber in the Philippines, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Uber will moves its services in the to the Grab platform on April 8.

“First, the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) must look into the matter, to check whether or not the merger and acquisition violates the letter or the spirit of the Philippine Competition Act,” said Castelo.

“Second, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) must fast-track the processing of the applications for accreditation of Pira, Lag Go, Owto and Hype, all local firms, so that there will be competition to provide the best service for the ride-hailing public,” added Castelo.

“Third, the Board of Investments (BOI) must look into the possibility of providing benefits, incentives, or privileges to this pioneering enterprise, so our local companies may be able to compete with the only remaining ride-hailing service provider: Grab,” concluded Castelo.

Administration stalwart Castelo has been a staunch advocate of modern technology to ease the daily ordeal of commuters who suffer discomfort and excruciatingly long travel times just to move around the metro and other urban centers.

He said that “since technology is ever-evolving, the presence of more players in the industry would also spur ingenuity in further developing systems or applications to improve services to commuters.”

He also said that, “in the interest of commuters in choosing the best and lowest-priced service, the approach to the TNVS business should be the more, the merrier.”

He likewise said that, “the concerned agencies of government must intervene immediately to protect the rights and promote the welfare of the public, initially by preventing the existence of a monopoly, and eventually by ensuring that all TNVS service providers comply with laws, rules and regulations.”

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