Grab resumes services in Cebu after 5 months offline

CEBU CITY, Philippines – After 5 months off the road, Grab resumes services in Cebu City and Talisay City, the company announced on Monday, August 3. 

“As Cebu City reopens its economy, Grab is one with the city in protecting the lives and livelihoods of the Cebuanos,” Grab said in a press statement. They said the services will be following stricter sanitation protocols under “GrabProtect.”

President Rodrigo Duterte placed Cebu on general community quarantine (GCQ) on August 1, after over nearly 4 months on lockdown. (READ: Restrictions eased further as Duterte places Cebu City under GCQ)

Cebu's provincial government has also been pushing for the resumption of tourism to revive the paralyzed local economy. (READ: Cebu province relies on residents for tourism revival)

However, Cebu island is still home to the highest number of cases outside of Metro Manila with about 16,000 total coronavirus cases, and over 9,000 active cases, in the entire Cebu.

“While public health restrictions ease, let us not lose sight of our commitment to safety - not just for ourselves, but for our communities as well,” Grab said.

According to University of the Philippines researchers, new daily cases in Cebu City started slowing down slightly, and bed occupancy in the COVID wards in Cebu City hospitals started to free up a bit after the last lockdown. 

The city had been on lockdown almost constantly since March, except between June 1 and 15.  

The city will opt for what they called “granular” lockdowns, or street and neighborhood-level lockdowns. (READ: Street-level lockdowns eyed in 21 Cebu City barangays)

More businesses will now be allowed to operate, but should still follow strict physical distancing and mask wearing protocols. 

Grab said that they would also waive their cut of the drivers earnings for the first two weeks to help drivers who’ve been off the road get back on their feet.

Passengers will get a 50% fare reduction too if they use GrabPay, or the prepaid option of the app, the ride-hailing company said.

Taxis have already been seen on the streets of Cebu since the lockdown was lifted, but jeeps and motorcycle back riding is still not allowed. – Rappler.com

Ryan Macasero

Ryan covers Cebu and the Visayas for Rappler. He covers all news in the region, but is particularly interested in people stories, development issues and local policy making.

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