Grab will deactivate at least 8,000 drivers in the Philippines to comply with local regulation

The Philippines transportation authority keeps a tight lid on the number of vehicles it lets into ride-hailing networks.

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Grab will deactivate at least 8,000 drivers in the Philippines to comply with local regulation

Soon there might be fewer Grab cars on the roads in the Philippines.

By June 10, the ride-hailing unicorn will deactivate at least 8,000 “transport network vehicle services units” that are unable to prove that they possess provisional authority by the Philippines Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), according to a company statement released yesterday.

The figure represents approximately one-fifth of Grab’s current pool of drivers in the Philippines which stands as 45,000. This massive deactivation of non-compliant and inactive drivers is a measure to enforce strict regulations imposed by the  LTFRB.

The announcement came untimely as Grab Philippines is already struggling with a shortage of cars.

Grab’s fulfillment rate is “very low” in the Philippines, which means there’s more demand than supply. It can fall to below 50% during bad weather days, Grab Philippines President, Brian Cu, told a local national newspaper, Manila Bulletin.

A lack of cars affects the quality of its service. Grab is appealing to LTFRB to open an additional 15,000 slots for applications so it can onboard more cars. As reported by Manila Bulletin, the authority has yet to respond.

LTFRB keeps a tight lid on the number of vehicles it allows to sign up for ride-hailing networks like Grab and only gives applicants a short time window to finalize the process.

The authority opened an additional 20,000 slots for vehicle registration in December 2018. According Grab’s statement, drivers who applied in that round are only given time until June 7 to complete their applications.

Another 10,000 slots are slated to open for online application starting from June 10.

The move to deactivate 8,000 drivers could further limit Grab Philippines’ supply of cars on the road, adding up to longer waiting time and price surges.

KrASIA has reached out to Grab Philippines to learn more about how it intends to deal with the potentially longer waiting time.