April 5, 2016
MANILA, Philippines – A group of taxi drivers and operators on Monday trooped again to the main office of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) in East Avenue, Quezon City to protest the fixed P10 rollback on taxi fare.
The protesters were also opposing the waiting time charge of P3.50 for every succeeding 500 meters and P3.50 for every 90 seconds of waiting time, citing the traffic issues in Metro Manila.
They were asking the LTFRB to recall the order implementing the P30 flag-down rate for taxis as fuel prices are hiking almost every week.
The protesters were also demanding for the immediate resignation of LTFRB chair Winston Ginez.
“Hindi na kami makapaghihintay ng bagong administration, kailangan alisin na agad si chairman Ginez, masyado niyang pinahihirapan ang mga ordinary taxi drivers at operators,” one of the protesters said.
“Eto kailan lang naka-dalawang beses na agad tumaas ang presyo ng petroleum products tapos ang LTFRB gusto ibaba pa ang pamasahe sa taxi, nasaan ang logic,” he added.
The group warned of more protest actions in the coming days until the LTFRB hear their please of recalling its order and bring back the P40 flag-down rate for taxis.
In separate interview, LTFRB board member Ariel Inton Jr. said that’s the beauty of democracy, taxi drivers and operators could exercise their freedom of speech.
But Inton noted that protesting in the street is not the proper way to get what they want.
“Meron po tayong proper procedure na dapat sundin. Siguro mag-file na lang sila ng kanilang mosyon para mapag-aralan ng board ang kanilang demand,” he said.
“The LTFRB is always open to taxi drivers and operators or the public in general. Hindi naman pwedeng pag-usapan sa kalye ang mga ganitong isyu. May proper forum para dito. Lahat naman ng bagay ay may karampatang win-win solution,” he added.
Last month, the LTFRB announced that it is making the P30 flag-down adjustments for all taxis permanent.
Ginez said the taxi flag-down rate change will permanently take effect starting March 19.
The P30 flag-down rate has been in effect since last year when the board scrapped P10 from the P40 flag-down rate due to the successive rollback in oil prices.