Taxi drivers protest fare cut with black ribbons, arm bands in Davao City | Inquirer News
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Taxi drivers protest fare cut with black ribbons, arm bands in Davao City

/ 09:23 AM March 22, 2016

DAVAO CITY – Taxi drivers here have started their silent protest over the decision of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to reduce the flag down rate by P10 to just P30, amid the rising fuel prices.

The protesting taxi drivers had fitted their units with black ribbons and also wore black arm bands.

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Brandon Garila, one of the protesting taxi drivers, was saddened by the LTFRB move to permanently reduce the flag down rate amid rising fuel prices.

“Gasoline prices only decrease for a few centavos and then climb up again,” Garila said.

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Pump prices here indicate that special gasoline is now being sold between P41 and 42 per liter from just P39 per liter two weeks ago; unleaded gasoline at an average of P39 per liter from just P37; and autogas LPG at P29.50.

Garila also said that their daily rental fees had not gone down, leaving them with only a few hundred pesos for their families after a day’s work.

Another taxi driver, who did not want to be identified, said he has been taking home only around P500 per day after filling up his unit and paying the owner.

“What’s left could barely support us with the rising prices of basic commodities and education,” the driver, with a son in college, said.

Edgar Violan, administrative officer of the LTFRB in Southern Mindanao, said the reduced flag down rate started to be implemented in 2015 but the agency did not require taxi operators to calibrate their meters as it was only provisional.

But lately, the LTFRB told taxi operators to calibrate their meters to reflect the P30 flag down rate as fuel prices have been declining, Violan said.

The calibration of meters will be conducted in batches, according to Violan. For taxi units, whose plate numbers end in 4, 9 and 2, the calibration will take place in April while for those with plate numbers ending in 5, 0, and 7, the calibration will be done in May.  For units with license plates ending in 1, 3, 6 and 8, the calibration would be conducted in June.

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The LTFRB, Violan said, has given all taxi operators until July to comply with the order.

After July, he said the LTFRB would start penalizing non-compliant taxi operators. Violators will be fined P5,000, according to Violan.  SFM

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TAGS: Brandon Garila, Davao City, Edgar Violan, flag down rate cut, flag-down rate, land transportation, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, LTFRB, News, protest, public transportation, Regions, taxi, Taxi Cab, taxi drivers, taxi service
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