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Grab starts operation in Naga


NAGA CITY — Taxi-booking firm Grab started Tuesday its operation in the Metro Naga area, comprising nine towns and Naga City.

“Why we came in to Naga is because it is really booming with people reaching one million in daytime. There are five universities and BPO (business process outsourcing) centers have more than 5,000 employees. That’s super rare, to be honest, outside Metro Manila,” Carlo Cu Unjieng, Grab Philippines head of expansion, told a group of the local media here on Tuesday.

Unjieng noted the initial Grab operation involves 70 taxis and several electric trikes or e-trikes.

He said the Grab in Naga will only use taxis with franchises, and Grab apps can be downloaded in their website.

Unjieng further said the Grab, the owner of the apps, will get PHP5 for the PHP25 taxi booking fee.

He said they are still working out with the e-trike drivers how to build the “livelihood of our partners sustainable.”

“We will give incentive of PHP25 as long as they hit the number of rides per week,” he added.

Unjieng claimed that in Pampanga and Balanga, where there is also GrabTrike, the drivers’ earnings have gone up to PHP1,000 to PHP2,000 per week.

Jojo Estrada, representative of taxi drivers, said in Bikol “for us drivers, it will be a big help because we will stop searching for passengers if the trade terms will be okay. But we really still don’t know how Grab will work in Naga.”

Alec Francis Santos, head of Naga City’s Arts, Culture and Tourism Office, said the city government invited Grab last year to come in to Naga after several complaints of overcharging by taxi drivers were reported to the Office of the Mayor.

Santos said it came out from the mediation between complaining passengers and taxi drivers that the reason they were overcharging was because they did not know where to get passengers. (PNA)