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Friday, August 23, 2019

Cabaero: Joining forces

BOTH transport brands have their own advantages. It is easier to get a cab with Grab because it has more units than Uber. But Uber cars are classier and, at times, cleaner than Grab units.

Join these advantages into one, add affordable pricing to the mix, and you have better service from a Transport Network Vehicle System (TNVS), an alternative for commuters to taking taxis or jeepneys.

The promise is there but those who commute daily would rather wait and see.

There were concerns raised on pricing since Grab would virtually be a monopoly, and on not having a second provider should the first be penalized and get banished from the streets. Uber last year was suspended for continuing to accept car applications despite an order to stop by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board. The suspension affected thousands of Uber drivers and stranded commuters who had to compete with others for limited cabs and Grab cars.

With Uber joining Grab, starting April 9, requests for transport service by Uber will be directed to Grab.

An Uber press statement Monday said it will combine operations with Grab to bring commuters to “the next chapter of ridesharing in the Philippines and across Southeast Asia.” Uber will transition its services to the Grab platform by April 8, so requests after that date will have to be made from the Grab phone application.

Grab is positive about the development and said the riding public and drivers will benefit from its decision to acquire Uber. Grab said there will be a wider network of TNVS with passengers getting to enjoy shorter waiting times because of more units and rides becoming more affordable with a larger fleet.

I hope what Grab is promising will become real as commuting has been like a daily penitence for most commuters because of the long wait for a ride and a longer trip to a destination few kilometers away.

•••

My column titled “School end woes” last Sunday did not mention any recommendation to secure school teachers and employees. My column cited the case of a Davao parent who angrily confronted a teacher over a child’s failure to graduate. The parent turned out to be a government official who used position and privilege to demand an explanation from the teacher and in front of the school’s dean and assistant dean. The school is planning to file charges of intimidation against the parent.

Not much is written about teacher-protection in the Philippines, letter-writer “Florence Gail” pointed this out to me. Yet, there is need to protect not just students but also teachers toiling to shape hearts and minds. The solution cannot be in arming teachers or having teachers receive training on how to manage someone else’s anger. It should involve a system that values and supports teachers. Education officials must take the Davao incident as starting point to pursue this concern.
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