EDITORIAL| Flagdown rate is still P30

A MONTH ago today, this paper headlined the warning of the Land Transportation and Franchising Board (LTFRB) to five taxi operators for failing to post the notice informing passengers of the P10 discount on flagdown rate.

LTFRB-XI spokesperson Edgar A. Violan said the regional office received several complaints since this policy was implemented on March 16. He said that the operators should continue to stick the information on the taxi’s dashboard for the passengers to know that the P10 reduction on flag-down rate is still in effect.

There is a sanction if taxi operators do not comply. There is a fine of P5,000 for the first offense; P10,000 fine and suspension of the unit for 30 days for the second offense, and; for the third offense, the taxi operator will be penalized with a fine of P15,000 plus cancellation of franchise.

This looks good in print. But reality shows otherwise.

If the LTFRB is serious in monitoring this law, there would only be a handful of taxi cabs going around the city.

The dashboard of taxis is so clean and taxi drivers do not really give a P10 discount on fare. If a passenger is vigilant enough to ask for the discount, the driver bares an evil eye as if he has been shortchanged. Some drivers even question passengers what they do with taxi receipts.

We always thought that our taxi drivers are better than those in highly urbanized cities. Maybe this perception may no longer be true.

Even if a passenger is aggrieved, the difficulty in setting things straight is a tedious process that would consume a lot of effort and time. First, the passenger has to file a written complaint detailing the incident, the body number of the taxi, trade name of the taxi and name of driver. Passengers usually do not want to go through the hassle, pinning their hopes on the LTFRB to do the job.

If there is difficulty in implementation, what is the point of belaboring this temporary discount policy?

Posted in Opinion