PBBM gets investment pledge from Grab; 500K new jobs to be created

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has secured an investment commitment from ride-hailing service Grab, which could translate into 500,000 jobs.

President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. meets with the Chief Executive Officer of Grab Holdings, Inc., Anthony Tan, and other officials to explore ways of modernizing the Philippine transportation system to increase its efficiency and accessibility. (Malacañang photo)

Communications Secretary Cheloy Garafil said this after Marcos met with officials of Grab Holdings Inc. in Malacañang on Thursday, Feb. 2.

In a statement, Garafil said Grab CEO and co-founder Anthony Tan discussed Grab’s recommendations on the possible ways to modernize transportation in the Philippines.

He likewise promised to create jobs in the country, assuring the President that his company will deliver.

“Well, that is what we need. At the very start of all of this, we had always stressed that what we have to do is create jobs right now,” the President said in response to Tan’s remarks.

“Because so many businesses closed, so many people really have no place to go, even the OFWs. So... we need to find jobs,” he added.

According to the President, the government has been able to bring down the country’s unemployment rate, noting that approximately 2 million jobs have been created since he assumed office.

“So we’ve been able to do that but it's still continuing... because our unemployment rate is not bad, but we’d like to keep bringing it down,” Marcos said.

“That’s why I’m in a hurry. If we can roll this out as quickly as possible. And I know the way Grab moves, they move very, very quickly. Because you’ve done it so many times before. In the scale, you don’t have to scale it. You’ve scaled it already,” he added.

According to Tan, Grab’s motorcycle taxis do four to five million rides and that it was only a matter of “unshackling things” so the company could soar further.

He said the ride-hailing service company needed to find a way how to create jobs, not only in Manila but also in Davao, Cebu, and Iloilo.

Congress has to enact a law to create the rule for motorcycle taxis or for the two-wheel side after the country adopted a law for four-wheel transport.

Various bills were proposed to regulate and legalize the operation of motorcycle taxis as public utility vehicles to ensure the safety and protection of the stakeholders.

Grab, which started operations in the Philippines in July 2013, is proposing the legalization of motorized taxis, noting that the pilot testing of motorized taxis is already operational for four years.

The law prohibits the use of motorcycles to transport passengers or freight but requests to review the policy and allow motorcycles as a form of public transportation prompted the transportation department to pilot test the operation of motorcycle taxis within Metro Manila and Metro Cebu in 2019.