Solve problem on ‘overcharging’ of airport taxis, Drilon urges execs | Inquirer News
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Solve problem on ‘overcharging’ of airport taxis, Drilon urges execs

By: - Reporter / @MAgerINQ
/ 10:08 AM January 14, 2016
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Senate President Franklin Drilon. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / JOAN BONDOC

Alarmed by the reported rise in cases of alleged overcharging and other abuses committed by airport taxis at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia), Senate President Franklin Drilon strongly urged airport authorities on Thursday to immediately solve the problem, starting with ensuring the steady supply or increasing the number of metered taxis servicing Naia’s passengers.

Drilon made such call following recent reports and stories circulating online on airport taxi drivers and their accomplices allegedly charging grossly bloated fares from hapless passengers—especially foreign tourists and travelers—whom they picked up at the arrival areas of Naia Terminals 1, 2, 3 and 4.

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“I strongly urge the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), especially its General Manager Jose Angel Honrado, to immediately do what needs to be done to put an end to these reports of abusive and unscrupulous drivers preying on both local and foreign travelers and our overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). We do not need to suffer these crooks in our airports,” he said in a statement.

READ: MIAA, LTFRB also target errant airport taxi drivers

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“It is said that airports can be used, especially by foreigners, to gauge how effective any government’s services are. So I hope that our airport officials care enough and realize how serious it is when our OFWs, travelers and tourists arrive at our airports only to be greeted by thieves and swindlers in taxis,” the Senate leader said.

Drilon said that the key to solving the airport’s taxi problem is to increase the number of accredited metered taxis servicing Naia and make them commensurate to the number of passengers arriving at the airport daily.

He pointed out that based on the official MIAA data last year, the Naia has only around 1,677 airport-accredited taxis and vehicles for rent.

However, data showed that in 2014, the daily number of arriving passengers at Terminal 1 is reported at 9,536 passengers, 10,722 passengers for Terminal 2, 21,293 passengers for Terminal 3 and 4,949 passengers for Terminal 4.

“As you can see, there is clearly a need to bolster the number of metered taxis in the Naia whom passengers can rely on to charge them proper and reasonable fares during their rides,” Drilon said.

He also pointed out that the long queues for the limited metered taxis create room for “fixed-rate” taxis and rental cars which overcharge desperate commuters, such as the story posted on social media by a group of commuters arriving from Naia who refused a P1,800 “fixed rate” offer by an airport taxi and went instead to a metered taxi who charged them P320.

“There is absolutely no reason as to why the MIAA would tolerate these deficiencies which result to poor services to our passengers. If the present concessionaire could not provide the number of cabs our airport needs, let us find another one who can,” said the Senate leader.

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Drilon said the MIAA should not “dilly-dally” in keeping a closer eye on its taxi system and in reforming its procedures to better protect passengers, noting that the taxi issue was only the latest in a string of controversies involving the country’s premier airport.

“After the ‘tanim bala’ (bullet-planting) issue and the many other scandals which have taken a toll on the image of the Naia and the country as a whole, I think General Honrado and the rest of MIAA could not afford to not take immediate action on this issue,” he said.

READ: DOJ probes ‘tanim-bala’ racket at Naia

“If they want to truly prove that they care about our flying public, then they need to act now,” Drilon added. RAM

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TAGS: airport, metered taxis, NAIA, Ninoy Aquino International Airport, overcharing, passengers, Senate President Franklin Drilon
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