Lawmakers aim to block adjusted taxi fare rates

TWO COUNCILORS are planning to pass a resolution opposing the recent taxi fare rates in the city.

“These new taxi fare rates raised negative impact both to taxi drivers and commuters. Taxi drivers manifested that some people no longer take taxi for a ride due to economic reasons, more so, now with this new increase in taxi rates,” councilors Conrado Baluran and Danilo Dayanghirang said in a draft of the resolution.

The joint resolution was supposed to be filed on Tuesday afternoon, April 17, during suspended rules but there was no longer any quorum in the afternoon.

Baluran and Dayanghirang, in citing their opposition on the taxi fare rates in the city, said that “commuters expressed in social media that minimum wage earners can no longer afford the new taxi rates.”

The new fare is P13.50 per kilometer from the P3.50 for every 300 meters traveled. There will be additional P2.00 per minute of running time from last year’s P3.50 per two minutes waiting time. The flag down rate will remain at P40.00

The taxi units here in city had started the calibration process early this year

Dayanghirang, in an interview, said that the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board has no grounds to effect the taxi rate increase. “The fact is there was no consultation done in the city,” he said, adding that “the economic situation in Manila and other cities is different from the city of Davao.”

Representatives of LTFRB regional office were invited to be present in the next session to shed light into the matter and answer the questions of the council members.

Meanwhile, Metro Davao Taxi Operators Association (MDTOA) chair Rogelio Largo said that taxi operators have no authority over taxi fare rates.

“Davao taxi operators had no hand in fixing taxi fare rates. Only the LTFRB can order either the increase or decrease of taxi fares,” Largo said in a text messages sent to TIMES.

Largo also claimed that “the new taxi rate prescribed by the LTFB was part of the modernization program. Before the new rate was implemented, taxi units had to comply with the requirements of taxi hailing platform, CCTV, dashboard cameras, GPS and WiFi.”

In October last year, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board approved the order to increase the fare for taxis.

Under the agency’s order dated Oct. 4, 2017, passengers would be charged P13.50 per kilometer from P3.50 for each succeeding 300 meters and the waiting time would be P2 per minute from P3.50 for two minutes.

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