PCC: No cap on motorcycle taxis better for commuters, will foster healthy competition

The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) is not keen on imposing a limit on the number of motorcycle taxis that would ply the country’s road once Congress approves the proposal to regulate and legalize motorcycles-for-hire.

A representative of the PCC who participated in the recent joint hearing of the Senate Committees on Public Services and Local Government that tackled proposed measures to regulate and legalize motorcycles-for-hire to ensure they are safe, efficient and affordable as a mode of public transportation, expressed the agency’s position.

PCC said it is not keen on putting a cap as this would encourage more players to enter the country’s growing motorcycle taxi industry and benefit commuters.

“In terms of market situation, more players would be better for consumers,”  PCC Executive Director Kenneth Tanate told the panel, headed by Sen. Grace Poe.

“If we are going to apply competition principles, no cap would be better given that it would benefit the consumers,” Tanate said.

Tanate disclosed the PCC’s stand in addressing concerns on capping the number to motorcycle taxis that would be allowed to operate amid the possible entry of Grab Philippines in the motorcycle taxi industry.

Currently, the only motorcycle companies allowed to operate on a pilot program are Angkas, Move It and Joyride, under the guidelines of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) -backed Technical Working Group. 

Poe, one of the senators supporting the legalization of motorcycles-for-hire through a law, said the non-imposition of a cap was an “interesting thought.”

When asked by Poe to provide their experience in other countries where Grab operates, Lim Yew Heng, Grab Senior Executive Vice President, responded in the affirmative.

“In terms of slots, there is no cap for motorcycles in the countries we operate,” Lim said. 

Grab, he said, operates motorcycle taxis in Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand at this time.

Furthermore, Lim said Grab is supporting such bills seeking to legalize motorcycle taxis, because a “well-regulated and inclusive framework for motorcycle taxis in the Philippines can bring significant benefits.”

“Passing a law that regulates motorcycle taxis stabilizes the regulatory environment, which will encourage healthy competition,” the Grab executive said. 

“The sooner this is done, the better for consumers, who under the current setup can only choose between three motorcycle taxi companies,” he pointed out.

He also said passage of the measure into law can generate more livelihood opportunities for Filipinos and additional revenue stream for the government.