MANILA - Sen. Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III on Friday said he endorsed motorcycle-hailing app JoyRide to the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to ensure that there would be no monopoly in the motorcycle taxi industry.
JoyRide officials earlier said it sought the help of the former Senate President to join the pilot testing of motorcycle taxis.
"When Joyride asked to be endorsed to join the pilot testing initial period I endorsed their interest to the DOTr, WHICH THE DOTR DID NOT ACCOMMODATE," Pimentel said, noting that despite his letter, JoyRide was unable to participate in the initial pilot testing in December 2019.
"In real life, if we make motorcycle taxis legal, it still cannot be a monopoly kasi bawal 'yon (because that's not allowed). Hence a pilot testing program must reflect real-life situation and there should be competition and not a monopoly," he said in a statement.
JoyRide - which is expected to benefit from the rider cap imposed against its competitor Angkas - denied that it was receiving preferential treatment from government and belied reports that high-ranking government officials are part owners of the startup.
Joyride’s Business Development Adviser Edwin Rodriguez is also the Secretary General of ruling PDP-Laban, where President Rodrigo Duterte sits as chairman and Pimentel is party president.