Taxi drivers who are charging passengers extra fare were talked about online after a Seventeen member Joshua Hong disclosed that he and his mother got ripped off by one of them during their visit to the Philippines.
These conversations came amid the two-day, sold-out concert of Seventeen over the weekend.
Amid the issue, Seventeen had a successful concert titled “Be the Sun” at the Mall of Asia Arena on October 8 and 9.
— 세븐틴(SEVENTEEN) (@pledis_17) October 9, 2022
Seventeen is a 13-member group that comprises Joshua, S. Coups, Wonwoo, Mingyu, Vernon, Woozi, Jeonghan, DK, Seungkwan, Hoshi, Jun, The8, and Dino.
Overpricing of taxi fares, LTFRB response
In a live broadcast on Weverse last October 2, Joshua told the group’s fans, collectively called Carats, about the mishaps he and his mother experienced during their trip to Manila.
He was with two other members Wen Junhui or Jun and Boo Seungkwan or Seungkwan during the broadcast following the group’s concert in Bangkok, Thailand.
During their visit in Manila, Joshua recalled that he got overcharged for a taxi ride to their hotel.
The Korean singer said that he paid the driver three times more than the usual fare.
“We went to this five-star hotel, and I asked the hotel staff to overcharge my card and give me some cash with the amount that they overcharged my card. Thankfully, they did that for me. The taxi driver asked for like a thousand something in the Philippine peso, and I later found out that I had paid like three times more. Gosh…” Joshua was quoted in a report by SBS Star.
SBS Star News is a Korean-based entertainment publication.
This report was soon picked up by local media outlets.
It also reached the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board.
In a statement in response to this incident, the LTFRB reminded public utility vehicle drivers and operators to comply with the agency’s policies to improve their services to the public.
“Pinapaalala ng LTFRB sa mga PUV driver at operator na sumunod sa mga alituntunin at polisiya ng ahensya upang mapabuti ang pagseserbisyo sa publiko,” the agency said on October 8.
“Ang sinumang mahuhuling lalabag sa mga ito ay papatawan ng karampatang parusang nakapaloob sa Joint Administrative Order 2014, tulad ng pagbabayad ng multa at pagkansela ng kanilang Certificate of Public Convenience (CPC),” the LTFRB added.
The agency further denounced these schemes and abuse committed by some PUV drivers to commuters.
“Kailanman ay hindi katanggap-tanggap sa LTFRB ang ganitong panloloko ng mga PUV drivers sa kanilang mga pasahero – lokal man o dayuhan,” LTFRB said.
It then urged the public to report any similar complaints to the agency via its hotlines, social media channels and email address.
Joshua’s story triggered a discussion about the prevailing problem over taxi drivers who are taking advantage of passengers whether they are Filipinos or foreigners.
Some Filipinos, including Filipino carats, also complained that some drivers do not use their taximeters to dictate their fares.
“Grabe naman talaga makasingi yung ibang taxi driver, minsan nga kahit mukhang pobre, sisingilin ng ginto, ayaw pumayag metro. Yung mga ganito pa kaya hitsura jusko dollar sign na mata ng mga yan hahaha,” one Facebook user said.
“I remember when I have flight in MIA terminal 2 then the taxi says it’s a wrong terminal so we went to terminal 4 point then the driver says it’s 4k just for the taxi like wtf I was shocked tas [siya] pa galit kasi tumawad ako so still pay 4k,” another online user commented.
Other Filipinos, however, argued that not all PUV drivers are taking advantage of passengers.
“Hindi lahat na taxi gumawa ng masama depende sa tao yan. [Nasa] driver yan may matino pa na taxi driver,” a Facebook user commented.
Some also pointed out that overpricing of taxi fares and other schemes also happens to foreigners in other countries.
“It’s not just happening in the Philippines. My family and I experienced the same with a cab driver in Macau,” a Facebook user claimed.
Some Filipinos then advised international visitors to do their research first or have a local accompany them before visiting other countries to avoid experiencing such schemes.