QC solon says Grab should be ready to slash vehicle fleet

Published April 11, 2018, 4:50 PM

by iManila Developer

By Ellson Quismorio

Transport network company (TNC) giant Grab had better be ready to cut its fleet of transport network vehicle service (TNVS) units accordingly, once new players in the sector arrive.


Thus, said Quezon City Rep. Winston Castelo Wednesday even as he backed the attempt of several local companies in getting their own piece of the TNC pie.

Castelo, chairman of the House Committee on Metro Manila Development, noted that Grab has no choice but to adjust the number of vehicles under its banner since the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) will only allow a fixed number of TNVS units on the road.

“Grab should prepare itself to adjust its fleet. It has no choice but to abide. There should equitable distribution of franchise among available slots,” Castelo said.

The Singapore-based TNC has been grabbing headlines past few weeks after it purchased the Southeast Asia operations of its main rival, United States (US)-based Uber.

The apparent merger between the two has made government officials like Castelo wary of the possible monopoly of the TNC sector. They said that commuters will be the ones to suffer in the absence of competition among TNCs.

The House leader earlier noted that four new entrants have sought license to challenge the Grab-Uber merger. These are Pira, Lag Go, Owto, and Hype–all local firms.

Castelo shot down the notion that the licensing of more TNC players–which will have their own TNVS units–will cause heavier traffic in the metropolis.

“Nope [there won’t be heavier traffic]. This will be regulated by the LTFRB. There should be equitable and fair allocation of franchises among players to ensure healthy competition that would provide better service and lower fare to commuters,” he explained.

Last February, the LTFRB said that it would only allow 45,000 vehicles from both Grab and Uber to transport passengers around Metro Manila.

With the merger, all slots are now theoretically under Grab.

LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra has said that 45,000 TNVS units are enough to tend to the needs of Metro Manila commuters.

Castelo said that while the LTFRB encourages new players, relevant authorities mainly the anti-trust Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) should assure that no abuse will happen in the merger deal.