After banning its motorcycle ride-sharing services GrabBike last January, the transport board likewise tagged “illegal” the new GrabJeep service of app-based ride-hailing firm Grab Philippines (Grab).
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) issued the statement on Thursday two weeks after the company introduced GrabJeep, a free jeepney service, which will run for two months.
LTFRB board member Ariel Inton informed the Philippine News Agency that they plan to issue a cease and desist order to GrabJeep similar to its decision against GrabBike
“Aside from GrabBike, GrabJeep is also subjected to cease and desist because there is no department order that specifies them to operate motorcycles or jeepneys,” Inton said.
LTFRB cited that despite the cease-and-desist order it issued against GrabBike last January, a sting operation was conducted last Wednesday to prove that GrabBike was still operating.
Inton stressed Grab should not introduce such new services to the market without permission from the LTFRB and the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC).
“They don’t ask us first that’s why there’s a problem,” he said. “Because they do not operate under a franchise, we cannot be responsible if a passenger meets an accident.”
Inton also explained that allowing the GrabJeep operation would also be “unfair” to the jeep franchise holders.
Meanwhile, Grab highlighted their jeep service was being offered for “free” and was part of their call to improve public transport industry in the Philippines.
Grab announced GrabJeep’s service on February 19 on social media, with units of air-conditioned jeepneys (extended jeep) equipped with wireless Internet, and television, offering free rides along Edsa avenue from Makati City to Quezon City.
Seven days after GrabJeep’s debut, Grab offered “GrabHorse”, a two-day free horse ride service in Baguio City in celebration of the city’s Panagbenga season, a month-long annual flower festival.
Formerly GrabTaxi, the company changed its name to Grab last month since its app-hailing operations were no longer limited to sedans but cover social carpooling (GrabHitch) and last mile delivery or courier service (GrabExpress).