Bacolod: ‘FOLLOW THE METER’, LTFRB-6 reiterates taxi meter policy after airport issue resurfaces

0
77

Iloilo City – The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB)-Region 6 recently reminded the public that taxis should use their installed meters instead of contracting the fares.

LTFRB-6 spokesperson Salvador Altura Jr. said that taxi drivers are prohibited from charging fares on their passengers more than what is indicated in the accredited meters.

LTFRB issued the advisory following a social media post that narrated the complaint of a tourist who alleged that a driver of Jhelord Taxi asked for an additional ₱500 for a trip to Iloilo City from the Iloilo International Airport in Cabatuan.

“If [the taxi driver] contracts [other fares], there are two scenarios, have you [passenger] already boarded or do you have to contract before you board? If you haven’t boarded yet and they contract you, you have the option not to take the ride. But if they reject you because they push to charge you [more], that is refusal to convey, which is a violation of their franchise,” Altura explained in a phone interview.

“If you are already inside, and instead of referring to the meter and they push you to pay a contract price, that is also not allowed, because that is also a violation of their franchise,” he added.

Altura, however, said that if the taxi driver and the passenger both agree on a contracted fare, that may be allowed.

“Supposedly, the [taxi fare] charges are based on the meter reading, but if the passenger and the driver voluntarily agree between themselves that they would contract their own rate, then that’s already between them,” he said.

“If there was coercion on the part of the taxi driver, with a threat not to convey the passenger if they do not agree with the contract rate, [the passenger] has to record the details of the taxi, including the meter, plate number, and they should get the identity of the operator, and they can file a complaint,” he added.

But Altura added that the Facebook post had already been resolved, with an explanation already obtained from Jhelord Taxi through due process in February.

Jhelord Taxi Operations Manager Rodrigo Baculado in an interview recently said that they had already suspended the taxi driver but stopped short of terminating them.

Perfecto Yap, President of the Association of Taxi Operators in Panay (ATOP), said that they “faithfully follow the meter” in charging fares.

“As far as the [ATOP] is concerned, we are metered. Whatever is being offered by the passenger, that is their choice. But as far as we are concerned, I would have to emphasize that we are metered. We have to flag down,” Yap told Daily Guardian.

Both Altura and Yap also raised caution at the existence of the Facebook page, which used to be named after the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP), where the complaint was posed.

“The administrator of that page is our former employee there. It was an LTFRB PUVMP page, but as administrator, after they left, they retained all the data and renamed the page,” said Altura.

The LTFRB-6 also posted on its official Facebook page, a warning against possible disinformation that may be shared on the said page. (Joseph BA Marzan via The Daily Guardian (TDG), photo courtesy of TDG)

Leave a Reply