The Independent, The Vulcan Post, and Nikkei Asian Review have reported that Grab is poised to acquire Uber’s operations in Southeast Asia. If this pushes through, Grab will be the dominant ride-hailing app in the Philippines. In light of this possible monopoly, micab, a taxi-hailing app founded in Cebu, has applied for recognition with the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on January 18, 2018. Since micab users hail existing taxis instead of private cars, the LTFRB will create a new classification for Transport Network Companies (TNCs) appropriate to micab.
“Just as the entrance of a third teleco will benefit Filipino consumers, so, too, will this new category for TNCs. Competition, after all, is good. You want companies to fight for the right to earn your business. The newly created TNC category will open the door for more players to offer the best taxi-hailing solution, and I’m proud that micab will be one of the first to throw its hat into the race,” said Eddie Ybanez, the and CEO of micab.
Founded as an SMS-based solution in 2012, Ybanez pivoted micab into a mobile app to efficiently serve Filipino commuters. Micab will be available in four markets in the Philippines, including Cebu, Iloilo, Davao, and Metro Manila. Users in these cities can download the FREE app for Android and iOS and then conveniently hail a taxi when they need one.
micab, according to their website, addresses the riding public’s safety concerns by
- making sure that all the vehicles you ride in are current models not older than 4 years.
- exclusively partnering with the city’s top taxi fleet operators that also aim to provide a premium taxi ride for their passengers.
- ensuring that their taxi drivers go through regular driver checks that includes health and random drug testing.
- maintaining quality and standards by completing government certifications and clearances.
- making sure that rides with 3-star ratings and below go through proper investigative measures.
Because of the possible market consolidation between Grab and Uber, Ybanez believes that the new TNC accreditation that the LTFRB may extend micab, and other future taxi-hailing applications, will be especially crucial for Filipino commuters. He commends the LTFRB’s efforts, led by Executive Director Atty. Carl Sha Jemimah F. Marbella, for their efforts to promote a diversity of commuting solutions through inclusive, fair regulation.