‘Illegal’ GrabBike driver falls into LTFRB chief’s trap
Around 10 a.m. on Wednesday, GrabBike driver Mon Carlo Gaya got a booking from someone who wanted to be fetched at the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) compound in Quezon City.
It was too late for Gaya to backtrack when he discovered that his “passenger” was LTFRB chair Winston Ginez, who personally placed the booking and thus obtained proof that GrabBike continued to operate despite the cease and desist order (CDO) issued by the board in January.
The GrabBike driver showed up minutes after Ginez sought his services during an LTFRB hearing that seeks to determine whether MyTaxi.ph should be stripped of its accreditation for offering a motorbike service that is still unauthorized by the board.
Gaya, who arrived on a scooter and wearing a green Grab jacket, was cited for being “colorum” or unauthorized to operate a public utility vehicle. His motorbike impounded, he faces a P6,000 fine.
Questioned by Ginez, Gaya said he had been driving for GrabBike since December as a “sideline” to being a GrabExpress delivery driver.
Speaking to reporters, Ginez stressed that the CDO remained in effect. “GrabBike is illegal. We will continue our operations against it.”
In issuing the order, the LTFRB maintained that the accreditation it earlier granted to transportation network companies like Uber and GrabCar does not extend to motorbike services, for which guidelines and regulations have yet to drawn up.
At Wednesday’s hearing, MyTaxi.Ph’s counsel Jerome Leynes faced the board but maintained that the company exercises jurisdiction only over GrabCar and GrabTaxi operations.
But Ginez countered that all these services use only one platform or system, “so we treat Grab as one entity.”
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