Throwback: On the Grab, Uber, and LTFRB Controversy

Three years ago there was a controversy between the two main ride-hailing services in the Philippines—Grab and Uber—and the Philippines’ Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB). You can read all about it here.

So in response, I wrote this:

[tl;dr] This Uber/Grab brouhaha has at least successfully put a spotlight on the big problem of public transportation in the Philippines. In Manila there’s this train system that was screwed up to begin with and which was screwed up even more during PNoy’s time by Abaya and Roxas, which Duterte doesn’t seem to want to fix, what with his fixation on this drug war and the Marawi crisis and whatever seems to keep him busy these days (or maybe it’s not his job, who knows?). In Cebu the highways are so narrow that putting up a train system similar to the one in Manila is going to be a challenge, if not virtually impossible, so people rely on jeepneys and now even this so-called MyBus that goes from one SM mall to another, and which is owned by billionaire Henry Sy (who, by the way [yes, you guessed it!] owns the SM malls himself), which again shoves in our faces the fact that public transportation that should be a PUBLIC SERVICE is done for PROFIT, for profit of big corporations (kind of what Uber and Grab are, when you think about it). So what happens is that those who can afford to buy cars and SUVs do so (making the traffic problem even worse, because, whether we like to admit it or not, there are just too many private vehicles on the streets already), those who can’t buy cars but can afford to take Uber/Grab do so, those who don’t have smart phones or can’t afford Uber/Grab but can afford to take taxis do so, and meanwhile the poor who can’t afford any of these live a life of living hell every day of their waking lives taking the crowded MRT or LRT trains that are packed even if it’s not rush hour or taking jeepneys or buses whose drivers don’t care if the passengers who are going to work are already late or if the passengers who are going home are already tired and hungry because, of course, naturally, these drivers themselves are also looking for profit, to earn money to put food on the table. So yeah, if there should be anyone to blame for this shit, it’s still the government. Dilawan, Dutertard, fuck that, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that people are looking out for themselves and for their own personal comforts because the government, which should be looking out for them, has been remiss. And it has been remiss long enough, not just in this administration, not just in PNoy’s administration, but in many administrations past. Maybe it’s time for the people to seriously demand those in the government to give them a safe, affordable, and efficient mass transportation system that’s long overdue, no?

Wow. I really need to chop up those long sentences. LOL.


Just for kicks, I decided to dig up my previous Facebook posts many, many years ago criticizing the Noynoy Aquino administration, and I have to admit that a lot them were so vicious, I’m wondering now if I posted them while I was under the influence of bathtub gin (not an impossibility). There were quite a few vicious posts as well, coming from me, which were directed at Jejomar Binay, who was the vice president at that time.

Come to think of it, it was normal to read negative posts back then that targeted both PNoy and Binay, which always included a common slur directed at PNoy alluding to the possibility of him having intellectual disability and a common slur directed at Binay that made fun of the color of his skin (and one even comparing him to a species of ape). I never stooped that low, however, and never used slurs (so far, to my knowledge, although there’s no accounting for the times I was under the influence of alcohol) in my criticisms of both the former president and vice president.

My point?

What’s the difference between the ad hominem attacks against Duterte and Bong Go today and the ad hominem attacks against PNoy and Binay years ago? Nothing, really. One difference, though, is not in the attacks themselves but on the originators: the people railing against criticisms directed at Duterte and Bong Go today were actually the ones who loved to insult and make fun of PNoy and Binay years ago.

Another difference is that PNoy and Binay weren’t thin-skinned. They could take both legitimate criticisms and ad hominem attacks. The same can’t be said for Duterte and Bong Go, with the former using that oft-repeated line by DDS trolls in one of his press conferences to address his critics: “Bakit, ano ba ang naiambag n’yo?” As if criticizing the government has suddenly become illegal nowadays. And the latter? He actually asked the National Bureau of Investigation to investigate social media posts that were critical of him.


May Araw Din Kayo

Kung makaingon mo ug “mirisi” noh, lagot kaayo mo sa ABS-CBN noh? Bahala na ug 11,000 ang mawad-an ug trabaho? Pero wala mo naglagot nga sa tanan gi-saad ni Duterte kay ang pagpanirado ra sa ABS-CBN ang iyang natuman? Hain naman tong zero drugs and zero criminality after 6 months? No more corruption? No more red tape? No more oligarchs? No more contractualization? Wala mo naglagot nga sagpaon kuno niya ang virus pero karon nagsigeg saka ang COVID-19 cases sa Pilipinas? Wala mo naglagot nga nagsige s’ya’g pangutang and naabot na ug 1 trillion kapin ang iyang gi-utang pero walay sakto nga accounting? Wala mo naglagot nga sayun-sayunon ra ug dakop ug pag-preso ang mga ultimo ug ordinaryong mga tao nga naka violate kuno sa quarantine guidelines pero wala gyud nasilutan sila Koko Pimentel, Debold Sinas, Mocha Uson, et al.? Wala mo naglagot nga ang nakapabor ra aning gobyernoha kay ang mga duol sa luwag? Apil na ang mga POGO nga dili mubayad ug tax, mga Chinese nga mang-bully sa atong mga mangingisda sa West Philippine Sea?

Hinuon dili ko mahibung nga wala mo naglagot aning gobyernoha unya lagot kaayo mo sa ABS-CBN kay hangtod karon gani ang inyong gikalagotan gihapon ug ang gibasol sa tanan kay ang previous administration nga mao’y sad-an sa Yolanda funds, Dengvaxia, SAF 44, tanim bala. Upat na ka tuig ang milabay, mga Dilawan gihapon inyong gikalagotan? Inyong basulon? Gagmaya ninyo’g utok noh? LOL

Pero matud pa sa akong amahan nga taga-ilog, hindi araw-araw pasko, may araw din kayo. Ayaw mo’g balimbing inig human aning termino ni Digong ha? Bantay bitaw. Tan-awon nato. 😁