Taxi group protests fare rollback | Inquirer News

Taxi group protests fare rollback

By: - Reporter / @jovicyeeINQ
/ 07:36 AM March 12, 2016

A group of taxi drivers and operators is protesting the “unreasonable and oppressive” decision of the Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to reduce taxi fares nationwide to a level lower than the rates adopted 12 years ago.

Philippine National Taxi Operators Association (PNTOA) president Bong Suntay said their drivers stand to lose at least P1,000 daily under the new rates. He warned that this would only force drivers to look for other jobs or take passengers on a “kontrata,” where the fare is set not based on the meter.

“How can you improve the transport service if you’re stifling a driver’s opportunity to earn? This would worsen ‘contracting’ since drivers are forced to do that to compensate for their lost income. If you stifle them further, our [transport] service will suffer and it will not be to the benefit of the riding public,” Suntay said in a press conference on Friday.


PNTOA will file on Monday a motion asking the LTFRB to reconsider its order which made the provisional P30 flag-down rate permanent effective March 19.


In its March 8 order, the board also adjusted the distance and waiting time for the succeeding rates. It lengthened the distance from 300 meters to 500 meters but shortened the waiting time (when the taxi is stuck in standstill traffic) from 120 seconds to 90 seconds. The rates for both distance and waiting time remained at P3.50.

Suntay said a driver who takes an average of 20 passengers daily could already lose P200 because of the reduced flag-down rate. And because of the adjusted succeeding rates, a driver loses an additional P4.66 per kilometer per passenger.

Suntay said the LTFRB’s new rate was even lower than the taxi fare rate in 2004, when the price of gasoline was around P26 per liter. Compared to 12 years ago, taxis charged P2.50 for every 300 meters or P8.33 per kilometer. Under the new rate, drivers would only get P7 per kilometer, he stressed.

“The new fare [rate] is unrealistic, unjust, oppressive and antipoor because it failed to consider inflation, devaluation of peso, reduction on purchasing power, increase in labor cost, cost of living, price of spare parts and replacement units since 2004,” Suntay said.

Joseph Go, vice president of Association of Taxi Operators of Panay, said “the waiting time doesn’t apply in the provinces because we have less traffic. We would be the most affected by this because we have the same rate as [Metro] Manila and yet we can’t even enjoy any benefit from the waiting time.”

Suntay conceded that the Philippines has the “lowest taxi fare in Asia,” but pointed out that they just want the LTFRB to consider the interest not only of the commuters but also that of the operators and drivers.

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TAGS: Bong Suntay, Joseph Go, LTFRB, Motioncars, Motoring, rollback, taxi, taxi drivers

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