Philippines transport board puts brakes on GrabJeep, tags it ‘illegal’

Visual from Grab Philippines' Facebook page.

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.

Also Read: GrabBike suspends services in Philippines. Refutes authorities claim its operations are ‘illegal’

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.

Also Read: Philippines: GrabCar’s bike service hits a speed breaker as Transport Board halts ops

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).

Also Read:

Philippines becomes first country to legalise ridesharing services; SG passes Bill to regulate third-party taxi apps

Malaysia’s GrabTaxi kicks off courier biz in Philippines

GrabTaxi invests $6m in safety features, to be rolled out regionally

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.