Colmenares hails PCC order suspending Grab acquisition of Uber

Apr 9, 2018

by PR

 

Grab acquisition of Uber ‘detrimental’ to riding public

Bayan Muna Chairman Neri Colmenares welcomed the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) order to Uber to continue its services beyond April 8, delaying Grab’s takeover deal for weeks, or even months.

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The former Bayan Muna congressman earlier hit the reported sale of Uber to Grab Taxi saying that monopoly will lead to increased fare rates for consumers.  He also condemned government’s privatization policy and failure to institute mass public transport which has resulted in expensive fare rates and massive traffic.

“Privatization and monopoly in public utilities are bad for consumers and the public in general.  They lead to expensive rates for services and leave the consumers at the mercy of the monopoly.  Meralco’s control of the  energy sector is an example.” said Bayan Muna Chairman Neri Comenares.  

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“The fact that our transport industry is privatized is already a burden on the riding public. Grab taxi’s gobbling up of Uber will only make matters worse.  Grab is now a virtual monopoly and has grabbed control of the ride sharing business, Grab can dictate expensive rates on consumers especially its surge rates during traffic hours. That is why the PCC order is a welcome development,”

Colmenares also countered Grab’s announcement that fears of expensive rates is unfounded because these are regulated.

“LTFRB Board Member Aileen Lizada has in fact admitted that Grab was allowed by LTFRB to up to P14.00 per kilometer while Uber charged up to P5.70.  How can Grab claim that their prices are lower because of regulation when they were allowed by the regulator to impose fares which are higher by about 150% than Uber? Meralco is supposedly regulated, but we have the most expensive electricity rates in Asia.” said  Colmenares who has filed petitions on behalf of consumers advocate against electricity rate increases.

Colmenares also welcomed the announcement of the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) to investigate the acquisition. “The recent announcement of the PCC to investigate the acquisition is a positive step.  Commissioner Stella Quimbo’s declaration that PCC’s initial assessment found Grab prices are higher is welcome.  We encourage PCC to pursue this investigation and hope they will follow this through and protect the public’s interest”.

Colmenares, however, concluded that the main issue is not merely Grab’s acquisition of Uber but the government’s privatization policy.

“The main issue here, however, is not simply Grab’s acquisition of Uber or which of the two have higher rates.  The main issue is the privatization and deregulation policy of government which has left the riding public at the mercy of private operators and concessionaires.  The MRT privatization where commuters suffer hell everyday is an example.  Government should, on the contrary, build mass public transport such as underground mass railway system, to ensure that profit is not the main motivation in the transport industry but public service. This in fact, is the only solution to our traffic problem. We are losing P3.5 Billion every day due to traffic.  Public funds are better spent on public mass transport rather than corruption ridden projects and useless white elephants.” concluded the progressive former solon. 

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