Taxi Bill of Rights to protect passengers vs. abusive cab drivers

By on November 18, 2014

A Toyota Vios airport taxi / Wikipedia Photo
A Toyota Vios airport taxi / Wikipedia Photo

MANILA — The swift passage of the proposed “Bill of Rights of Taxi Passengers” will protect cab passengers from abusive and choosy drivers.

House Bill 3681, also known as the “Bill of Rights of Taxi Passengers,” will impose fines and penalties on erring taxi drivers who are the subject of numerous complaints especially during Christmas season.

The proposed bill includes a passenger bill of rights to protect the commuting public from abusive, itinerant and discourteous drivers and provide a sanction for the offenses they commit against the riding public.

Under HB 3681, every cab passenger is entitled to the right to a licensed driver who is properly dressed, courteous, and not under the influence of alcohol or drugs; the right to ride in a clean, safe, and smoke-free taxi; the right to be transported to their stated destination;

The right to view the metered fare and to request a receipt using a taxi meter calibrated and sealed by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB); the right to be given the exact amount of change, and; the right to ride a substitute taxi or be aided to get a new one in case of engine trouble or similar instances in which payment for the flag-down taxi rate will be waived.

Taxi drivers or operators, on the other hand, are expected to perform the following duties and obligations: display his/her taxi driver’s license visibly to all passengers; indicate the taxi’s plate number, operator’s name, place of business, and contact number on the inside doors of the cab;

Display clearly the taxi passengers’ rights, the process of complaint-filing, and the contact details of the LTFRB; accept all trips regardless of length; avoid violating any law or traffic regulation;refrain from using a cellular phone while in transit;

Provide a clean, safe, smoke-free taxi; protect a passenger’s health or safety; refrain from soliciting or requiring passengers to pay more than the displayed meter fare, and; know the major routes and destinations.

Under the measure, ill-treated passengers should file a personal complaint against the driver and operator of the taxi with the LTFRB.

Violating taxi drivers will be liable with their operators and will face a fine of at Php500-2,000 for the first offense; at least Php1,000-5,000 for the second, and; a minimum of Php3,000 up to Php10,000 as well as one-week suspension of the driver’s license and/or certificate of public convenience for the third and subsequent offenses.

“We have seen countless videos and heard sordid stories of cab drivers who are abusive, negligent, and prey on unsuspecting passengers. They pick passengers on their own terms, refuse carriage for some destinations, force you to pay an extra amount on top of the meter bill, are discourteous and trick most passengers on circuitous routes to earn extra money. Most of the tourists who come to our country have fallen victims to these enterprising cab drivers,“ Valenzuela City Rep. Sherwin Gatchalian, the proponent of the bill, said in his explanatory note.