Bill seeks to penalize erring taxi drivers
MANILA, Philippines—A bill penalizing taxi drivers who refuse to transport their passengers to any destination, fail to give exact amount of change, among others, has been filed at the Senate.
Senate Bill 2152 known as “An act ordaining the bill of rights of taxi passengers” filed by neophyte Senator Grace Poe seeks to establish the rights of commuters as well as the responsibilities of taxi drivers and operators.
“Thousands of Filipinos commute every day. For the majority, taxi is one the many preferred vehicles in terms of public transportation–the lifeblood of any metropolis–which carries them to their daily grind of having to go to work, to school or to their homes where they reunite with the family and loved ones,” Poe said in filing the bill.
“Thus, it is upsetting that reports of cab drivers subjecting passengers to unfair trade practices and abuse remain steadily on the rise and unaddressed,” she further said.
Among the rights of passengers provided for under Section 3 of the bill are the following:
- Licensed driver
- A properly dressed and courteous driver who will provide assistance, if requested at no extra cost
- A driver who is not under the influence of alcohol and/or dangerous drugs
- Ride in a clean, safe and smoke-free taxi
- Be transported to their stated destination, regardless of trip length
- Direct the route, or expect the most economical route
- A taxi meter calibrated and duly sealed by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board
- View the metered fare and request a receipt
- Be given the exact amount of change
- Travel with a service animal and/or portable mobility aid
- Request for a quite/silent trip (no radio conversation); and
- A substitute taxi, or be assisted to procure one, in case of mechanical/engine trouble or other similar instances that hinders the continuation of carriage, and by this reason, cause the waiver for payment of the flag-down taxi rate.
“A taxi passenger whose rights herein have been violated, shall file a personal complaint against the driver and operator of the taxi with the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulation Board, which shall conduct the investigation and provide the necessary forum for adjudication of these complaints,” the bill said.
Any taxi driver who wilfully violates any provisions under Section 3 of the bill will be slapped with a minimum fine of P500 or up to P2,000 on the first offense; a minimum of P1000 fine up to P10,000 on the second offense; and a minimum fine of P3,000 and suspension of driver’s licence for a period of one week on the third and succeeding offense.
The bill also enumerated the following responsibilities of taxi drivers and operators:
- Display the driver’s license in a way that is clearly visible to all passengers.
- Indicate on the inside doors of the taxi the plate number of the taxi, the taxi operator’s name, place of business and contact numbers;
- Display in a prominent/conspicuous place within the taxi, the rights of the taxi passengers, the procedure of filing complaints for any of its violation, as well as the contact information to be provided by the LTRFB.
- Be courteous, and render assistance to the passenger if requested
- Accept all trips regardless of length
- Avoid violating any law or traffic regulation
- Refrain from using cell phone while in transit and carrying passengers
- Provide a clean, safe, and smoke-free
- Protect the taxi passenger’s health or safety
- Refrain from soliciting or requiring passengers to pay more than the displayed meter fare,
- And know the major routes and destinations.
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