Complaints about erring taxi drivers were raised online after a cabbie was nabbed for reportedly charging passengers without using the taxi meter and driving off with their luggage.
Reports said that the police on Thursday, May 11 briefly chased a white taxi in Taguig City driven by a cabbie who refused to use a taxi meter and had figured into a heated argument with a couple.
The couple, who had the pseudonyms “Ed” and Madz,” said that they boarded the taxi from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport’s (NAIA) Terminal 3 after arriving from a vacation.
They were supposed to be dropped off at Antipolo.
The couple said that they were charged P3,500.
According to them, they were only charged around P500 when they boarded a taxi from Antipolo to the airport before going on vacation.
The couple said that they could not see the taxi meter of their recent ride from the airport since it was covered by the driver’s cellphone.
A taxi meter is a device installed in cabs that calculates fares based on the distance traveled and the elapsed time of the ride. This is calibrated and sealed by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board.
Meanwhile, the driver’s refusal to use the device during the ride caused an argument between him and his passengers, who insisted on getting off the vehicle.
The taxi drove off with their luggage still in tow after they disembarked.
A separate report said that concerned citizens blocked off the vehicle before the police eventually arrested its driver.
Upon apprehension, the taxi driver argued that he was only supposed to serve within Metro Manila and not Antipolo.
“Noong sinakay ko po ‘yung bag niya… sabi ko, ‘Sir, malayo na po ‘yon, out of Metro Manila na.’ Eh sabi niya, ‘I-metro mo.’ Eh sabi ko, ‘Sir, may tariff rate kami,'” the driver said.
He is facing criminal charges of grave coercion, theft, unjust vexation and disobedience to person in authority, as well as traffic violations involving reckless driving, disregarding traffic order and discrimination of passengers.
The incident prompted some commuters to share their own experiences in the comments section of posts about this incident.
“Halos lahat ng taxi [diyan] sa [NAIA] ay ganyan. Madalas akong mabiktima [niyan kaso] ‘di ako pumayag. [Biruin] mo, Bacoor to Terminal 3, sisingilin ka ng P1,500, samantalang P250 [lang] ‘pag metro, mga abusado,” a Facebook user wrote.
“Sa [NAIA] airport, dami [diyan]. P150 usapan, pagdating sa PITX, 500 pesos na,” another Filipino commented, referring to the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange.
“Taxi?… Based sa [experience] namin. Wala na kami nakakausap na maayos na taxi driver. Lahat nire-reject ‘yung location na pupuntahan namin, tapos hihingi pa ng dagdag. Never na kami nag-taxi after that. Nagbo-book na lang kami sa [Grab] car, [at least fixed] ang bayad dun at safe,” wrote a different Pinoy.
“Oo, daming nagogoyo nila na [nangongontrata] sila, sa NAIA TERMINAL 3, [kadalasan] mga banyaga at mga ‘di kabisadong Pinoy na papaikot nila,” another Facebook user said.
“Na-witness ko ito kahapon, na papahatid ako papunta ng Terminal ng Victory Liner, bayad daw ako ng 400 pesos, hatid [niya] ko, nginitian [ko na lang] at humindi at ‘di na nagsalita para ‘di na humaba pa. Mga white taxi gumagawa nito,” he added.
Last February, disc jockey Lyka Barista of 101.1 Yes The Best FM station caught a taxi driver riding with a manipulated taxi meter.
“‘Yung nagmamadali ka pero mas nagmamadali ‘yung metro mo?! Watda,” she wrote in a Facebook video before.
RELATED: ‘Nagmamadali metro mo’: DJ Lyka Barista’s taximeter video gains online buzz
A month before that, the Land Transportation Office rolled out its “Oplan Isnabero” operation which cracked down taxi drivers who refused to render services to commuters across the metro.
LTO-NCR-West Director Roque Verzosa cited the LTO’s Joint Administrative Order No. 2014-01, which notes that the “refusal to render service to the public or convey passenger to destination” will result in a fine from P5,000 to P15,000 and a cancellation of the Certificate of Public Conveyance.
“Pinaalalahanan naman ng LTO ang mga taxi driver na gampanan ng maayos ang kanilang responsibilidad, kasunod na rin ng patuloy na tumataas ang bilang ng mga nangangailangan ng pampublikong transportasyon,” the agency said in a statement before.