Naia allows white cabs anew, but exec says yellows ‘safer’
Following numerous complaints, authorities at Ninoy Aquino International Airport have again allowed regular taxicabs to drop off and pick up passengers at the country’s premiere gateway.
However, the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), state operator of Naia, said regular cabs—which it called “white taxis” to distinguish them from the yellow units that are registered and accredited with the agency—may no longer queue for passengers at the airport’s four terminals.
MIAA general manager Jose Angel Honrado said white taxis would be allowed to load and unload at the terminals, but they could not line up to wait for passengers.
“We will just post a disclaimer saying that white taxis are not accredited by the MIAA and that passengers should exercise caution in dealing with them. So that they will know that the white taxis are not ours,” he told reporters in an interview.
Enforced by airport policemen, the ban on white taxis drew complaints from travelers and other commuters going to and coming from Naia, some of whom aired their gripes on the social media after being forced to the take yellow taxis which charge higher fares.
Yellow cabs are allowed to have higher flag-down and mileage rates since, after bringing a passenger to his or her destination, they are required to return immediately to the airport. They are supposedly not allowed to pick up new passengers along the way.
“Over the past few weeks, we have received lots of complaints about these white taxis such as overcharging, not using their meters or even dropping passengers off in the middle of nowhere if they didn’t agree (to the fare asked by the driver). Some even stole the passengers’ belongings,” he said.
Honrado noted that the MIAA often got the blame and the airport earned negative publicity for these acts committed by drivers of white taxis.
“When passengers, especially foreign tourists, complain about a cab from Naia they would not say it was a white or a yellow one but just a cab from Naia whose driver caused them a lot of hassle. Unfortunately, we don’t have control over them (white taxis) so I say ‘enough is enough,’” the airport official said.
“One [victimized] passenger even told me that we could not (give the excuse that these erring cab drivers) were not under our control because we allowed their cabs to queue at Naia and our guards even served as dispatchers,” he said.
The MIAA chief said passengers should just hire the MIAA-accredited yellow taxis since they are “safer” and their drivers could be easily made accountable for any abuse.
“If we know that (the subject of the complaint) was a yellow taxi, we can quickly trace it and investigate the driver,” he added.
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