Koko Pimentel says he endorsed JoyRide to avoid Angkas monopoly

Aika Rey
‘[A] pilot testing program must reflect real life situation and there should be competition and not a monopoly,’ says Senator Pimentel, who is friends with the owners of JoyRide

NEW ENTRANT. JoyRide joins the pilot implementation of motorcycle taxi services. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – End Angkas’ monopoly. This, according to Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, was the reason he endorsed the new motorcycle firm JoyRide in its application to participate in the pilot run of motorcycle taxi services. (READ: JoyRide sought Koko Pimentel’s endorsement in pilot-run bid)

“As a lawyer, I also know this policy against monopolies. Hence, when I learned about a ‘pilot testing’ on motorcycle taxis conducted by DOTr (Department of Transportation) involving just one service provider, then that policy prohibiting monopolies entered my mind,” Pimentel said in a statement on Friday, January 3.

In September 2019, Pimentel endorsed JoyRide’s letter of application to the DOTr. JoyRide vice president for corporate communications Noli Eala disclosed that JoyRide’s owners are “family friends” with Pimentel.

“[A] pilot testing program must reflect real life situation and there should be competition and not a monopoly,” Pimentel said.

The senator maintained that his endorsement may not have anything to do with the advancement of JoyRide’s application, saying that the transportation department “did not accommodate” the firm during the 6-month pilot run that ended last December 26. DOTr has since extended the test run for 3 months. JoyRide believes the same.

“When Joyride asked to be endorsed to join the pilot testing initial period, I endorsed their interest to the DOTr, which the DOTr did not accommodate. The initial period ended in December 2019 without JoyRide being allowed to participate,” Pimentel said.

JoyRide’s entry into the pilot run was approved in December 20, days ahead of the initial 6-month trial end. The new entrants, including MoveIt, will be operating until March 23.

At least 6 motorcycle taxi providers sought to enter the pilot run, including JoyRide, MoveIt, CitiMuber, EsetGo, Sakay, and VroomGo. However, after the DOTr’s technical working group evaluation, only JoyRide and MoveIt made the final cut.

The DOTr’s 6-month pilot run was done in partnership with pioneer motorcycle taxi firm Angkas. Before the pilot run extension was approved in December, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board had expressed intent to accommodate new players. – Rappler.com

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Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at aika.rey@rappler.com.