Traveling from NAIA, Austrian vloggers document taxi scam in Manila

May 7, 2019 - 12:53 PM
Calibrated taxis in Cebu
File photo of calibrated taxis in Cebu. (The Freeman/Paul Jun E. Rosaroso)

A Filipino taxi driver allegedly scammed two foreigners as they traveled from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport to Legazpi Village in Makati.

Travel vloggers and couple Mike and Nelly, who are Austrians, shared that they had just arrived in Manila from Tokyo when they decided to hail a taxicab since all of the Grab drivers were busy at that time.

They frequent the Philippines but it was only recently that they were conned, the couple said.

“Just after leaving, the taxi driver aggressively tried to make us pay a flat rate versus the metered rate shown in the taxi and also wanted to charge us an extra fee for the luggage,” part of their caption in the video reads.

“When he realized we were filming everything for our own protection, he got very aggressive and attacked me, trying to retrieve my phone,” the caption, referring to Mike, added.

The taxi driver even pulled over in “the middle of the Skyway” and told the couple to get off his vehicle.

The couple included an alleged footage taken from the trip, where the driver took them outside the usual route.

Some observant YouTube users noted that the couple can file a report since the taxi number was reflected on the car’s dashboard at the 03:36 mark.

“The taxi number is 628 as shown in the dashboard. Go to LTO and let them trace the license. This taxi driver must be stopped,” Jeric Naval commented.

LTFRB public assistance and complaint desk head Ryan Salvador replied that he will discuss the matter with the agency’s board officials.

YouTube_Ryan Salvador
A screenshot of LTFRB public assistance and complaints desk head Ryan M. Salvador’s comment on Mike and Nelly’s video as of May 7, 2019. (Screenshot by Interaksyon)

Taxis are equipped with meters, devices that record the payable fare of passengers on a given trip. Riders are not supposed to pay additional “luggage fees” or any amount beyond what the device registers.

The taxi meter is calibrated and sealed by the LTFRB to ensure that passengers would not be overcharged or undercharged by taxi drivers.

Legitimate taxis should have a Taximeter Calibration Certification sticker on the top right corner of the vehicle, according to the government agency. This is to indicate that the meter has been checked and not tampered with.

Beware of taxis at airports

Another foreigner was recently scammed by a taxi driver from the airport as well.

Food vlogger Mikey Chen in March 2018 shared that he and his companions were asked to pay an exorbitant fee of P2,300 for a simple transfer from the NAIA Terminal 3 to Terminal 4.

Chen said that the particular taxi driver had a fake rate card where the amounts were listed in thousands, with a range from P2,300 to P2,500 depending on the passengers’ terminal of origin.

“This is like, crazy. This is robbery right here,” he said in one of his videos.

The Manila International Airport Authority arrested the taxi driver and ordered the LTFRB to impound the vehicle.

Eddie Monreal, general manager of MIAA, also advised the public that metered taxis are not allowed to charge fixed rates for any trips.

“We did not approve any modus (fixed rate) like that. They should pay whatever is indicated in the taxi meter,” he said a previous interview.