'Micab' taxi-hailing app service not yet in Manila, clarifies CEO

MANILA, Philippines – Alternative app-based transport services surface as the most popular app of its kind, Uber, continues to be mired in legal battles. (READ: Uber apologizes to LTFRB for 'misunderstanding')

One of these is "Micab," which, unlike Uber, connects passengers to a network of regular taxis as opposed to private vehicles. It was launched in July 2015 in Cebu, later expanding to Iloilo. In about a month and a half, the service will come to Manila, according to Philippine National Taxi Operators (PNTOA) president Bong Suntay in an ABS-CBN article. (READ: Meet Cebu’s answer to foreign transport apps)

The statement matches that of MiCab founder and CEO Eddie Ybanez's, who said that they are still in the "pre-implementation" stage and will be ready "in the coming months." Ybanez's statements came from a Facebook-posted letter (below) addressed to Business Mirror, clarifying the app's availability in Manila. The Business Mirror article that Ybanez sought to clarify was headined "Smartphone app for taxis now in Manila." 

The app can now technically be downloaded even if you are in Manila. But as Ybanez said in their letter, the service isn't operational yet in Manila. 

Unlike Uber and Grab, Ybanez also says in the letter that they don't have to apply for transport network vehicle service (TNVS) accreditation because they don't service private vehicles. The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) defines transport network companies (TNC) as organizations connecting passengers with "drivers using their personal vehicles" in their memorandum

Micab also says that they won't employ surge pricing or the increase of fares according to passenger demand. Instead, they'll implement fixed pricing, wherein they'll tell the passenger what the fare is, and will not be affected whether the length of the route increases or the vehicle gets stuck in traffic. PNTOA's Suntay told ABS-CBN: "...kapag app-hailed, kung papayag sila [LTFRB], fixed pricing – iyung parang ginagawa ngayon sa Japan para alam na ng pasahero kung magkano ang total fare, whether humaba ang ruta na kinuha o naipit sa traffic." – Rappler.com