The Department of Transportation (DOTr) was under fire for sharing the Facebook post of a Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) official slamming Uber and Grab drivers, causing netizens to accuse DOTr of being biased against transport network vehicle services (TNVS) and transportation network companies (TNCs).
On July 23, one of DOTr’s Facebook admins singled out TNVS with hashtags #RegulateTNCs #Regulate TNVS #DapatPatasAngBatas after sharing a screenshot of PCOO Asec. Rachel Queenie Dizon Rodulfo’s post about her accident involving a Grab driver.
“This is an example of an issue of accountability involving a TNVS: ‘Had a vehicular accident with my kids last night with a Grab driver who didn’t want to cooperate & owner insisted that they are privately owned,’” DOTr posted.
Rodulfo’s post read:
“Had a vehicular accident w/ my kids late last night. W/ a grab driver who didnt want to cooperate & owner insisted that they are privately owned. So now comes accountability. Pagtanggol nyo pa uber/grab. Tnx to DOTR/MMDA for the assistance.
P.S. – Til early morning were at the police station w/ my kids. The trauma, hassle, wasted time this incident caused. Sabi ko naman mabait ako, wag lang mapapahamak mga anak ko. Ibang usapan yan.”
But the netizens accused DOTr of specifically targeting services like Grab and Uber.
One netizen even asked DOTr, “What’s your beef against TNCs, anyway?”
The netizen’s post became a long thread, where the DOTr Admin 03, Rodulfo and her husband, and other netizens started a conversation.
The DOTr admin denied having any beef against Uber or Grab, although other netizens noted how the same admin also posted another article about Uber before.
In the same thread, the Rodulfos clarified that the post about the accident was about Mrs. Rodulfo being a mom and has nothing to do with her work at the PCOO.
But the same netizen who started the thread kept asking the Rodulfos as to why they felt the need to drag the TNVS and TNCs into the issue, which the Rodulfos replied to with emphasis on safety.
Here’s the rest of the conversation in the thread between the Rodulfos and the netizens:
Other netizens continued to hit the DOTr admin for ‘sensationalizing’ an issue that they thought should not involve the TNCs and TNVS, but two individual drivers. Some netizens even urged the agency to take down the ‘malicious’ post and stop wasting taxpayers’ money by singling out Uber and Grab when there are also so many complaints against taxis, buses and PUJs.
“So why single out this post instead of thousands of posts about the nightmarish state of public transportation (includes TNCs, Buses, Jeeps, and Taxi) if you don’t have an agenda specifically against TNCs? Nothing wrong with Mrs. Rodulfo’s posts but it’s kind of offensive for the official Facebook page of a government page to spread malice like this. Bravo Admin03,” a netizen wrote.
Grab’s country head in the Philippines, Brian Cu, also addressed the incident with Rodulfo via a Facebook post.
Cu said Grab immediately investigated the issue upon hearing of the incident, adding that their records showed the driver was “not officially” on a Grab trip at the time the accident happened. It turned out the driver was using Uber then, not Grab. Still, Cu said Grab imposed sanctions against the driver for being uncooperative during the accident, as per Rodulfo’s claim, adding that Grab does not tolerate such behavior.
“Grab remains committed to training and retraining its drivers on proper decorum and behavior, and is ready to assist in any formal investigation. Grab will not shirk from accountability nor its responsibility to protect the welfare of the riding public,” Cu said.
Cu expressed regret over the incident, adding that they are grateful those involved were safe.
“We hope that the key takeaway for everyone here is that while there may be bad apples even in the best services; it is the quick response, support and readiness of the company that shows how accountable it truly is,” Cu added.
“While TNVS also has its share of bad elements, we would like to point out that these are still much fewer compared to any other mode of transport.”
Grab is ready to help and assist Rodulfo to ensure they get the support they need.