Marcos Jr. administration

Grab pitches for motorcycle taxis in meeting with Marcos

Bea Cupin, Lance Spencer Yu

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

Grab pitches for motorcycle taxis in meeting with Marcos

MALACAÑANG MEETING. President Marcos meets with Grab’s Anthony Tan during a meeting in the Palace on February 2.

Office of the President

During a meeting in Malacañang, Grab CEO Anthony Tan vows new ‘ways to modernize transport’ in the country

MANILA, Philippines – Weeks after wining and dining with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in wintry Davos, Grab CEO Anthony Tan made a pitch for the Philippines to finally to legalize motorcycle taxis.

Tan met Marcos in Malacañang on February 2, Thursday, according to the Palace. The two “explored ways of modernizing the Philippine transportation system,” like passing laws to legalize motorcycle taxis in the Philippines, and removing caps on transport network vehicle services (TNVS). 

A media release from the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) said Tan promised an “investment commitment… which could translate into 500,000 jobs.” The PCO did not specify how those jobs would be generated. 

Grab Philippines has also not made announcements on this “investment commitment.” 

Tan, according to the Palace, said Grab’s motorcycle taxis “do four, five million rides a day” and that “it’s just a matter of unshackling things so the company could soar further.” 

Grab previously came under fire for its buy-out of motorcycle taxi firm Move It in 2022, facing allegations that the transaction sidestepped government regulations.

Under the Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) pilot study on motorcycle ride-hailing services, only three motorcycle taxi operators – Angkas, JoyRide, and Move It – were allowed to operate. Grab had also applied to participate in the study, but the ride-hailing giant failed to gain the approval of the DOTr’s technical working group.

During a House panel hearing in September 2022, lawmakers alleged that Grab’s acquisition of Move It constituted a backdoor entry into the motorcycle taxi market. Grab strongly denied this, calling it purely a “business decision.” 

The DOTr also did not oppose the buyout, with Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista declining to review the agreement “because it was a private transaction.”

However, about a year before the buy-out, the DOTr’s technical working group had struck down a previous partnership between the two that allowed users to book Move It drivers through Grab’s app. The DOTr stated that the partnership made Grab appear as a “de facto member” of the pilot study. 

Following the House hearing, Grab urged lawmakers to pass a law legalizing the operation of motorcycle taxis beyond the pilot study.

“Under a regulated environment, we expect to see more industry players and we welcome this as this will provide more job opportunities to Filipinos and give more choices to our commuters. Competition will make the motorcycle taxi business vibrant and its service better,” Grab said in a press release on November 24, 2022.

As of press time, Grab Philippines has yet to respond to inquiries from the media about the meeting in the Palace. 

Tan, on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, hosted a party whose attendees included Marcos and other political and business leaders. 

Marcos’ visit to Davos for the WEF was the subject of criticism, especially since it took place just as food prices soared in the Philippines. 

The President has justified his frequent trips by saying the Philippines gets investment promises through these visits – thus far, however, these pledges have remained unfulfilled. – 

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!
Avatar photo


Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.
Clothing, Sleeve, Person


Lance Spencer Yu

Lance Spencer Yu is a multimedia reporter who covers the transportation, tourism, infrastructure, finance, agriculture, and corporate sectors, as well as macroeconomic issues.