THE PHILIPPINES could generate about 500,000 jobs after getting an investment commitment from Grab Holdings, Inc., according to the presidential palace.

President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. met with Grab officials on Thursday to discuss the company’s recommendations on how to modernize Philippine transportation, the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) said in a statement.

During the meeting, Malaysian businessman and Grab Chief Executive Officer and co-founder Anthony Tan “promised to create jobs” in the country and assured the president that his company would deliver, the PCO said.

“That is what we need,” Mr. Marcos told him. “At the very start of all of this, we had always stressed that what we have to do is create jobs right now. Because so many businesses closed, so many people really have no place to go, even overseas Filipino workers.”

“We need to find jobs.”

While the Philippine unemployment rate is “not bad,” the administration aims to bring it down further, Mr. Marcos said.

Grab, which started operations in the Philippines in July 2013, is proposing to legalize motorized taxis in the Philippines, according to the palace.

“Various bills were proposed to regulate and legalize the operation of motorcycle taxis as public utility vehicles to ensure the safety and protection of the stakeholders,” it added.

The Philippines does not allow the use of motorcycles to transport passengers. But there have been lobbies to review the policy and allow motorcycles as a form of public transportation, prompting the Transportation department to pilot test the operation of motorcycle taxis in Metro Manila and Cebu City in 2019. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza