By Alexandria San Juan
Transport regulators warned that it will go after erring and abusive taxi drivers especially this holiday rush, following a vlog on cab drivers contracting fares from foreigner passengers went viral.
According to the Department of Transportation (DOTr), the now trending video already reached their office, as well as the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) who both vowed to take action into it.
“We will not ignore this, instead we will intensify the campaign against taxi drivers who openly defy our regulations,” the Department said in a statement on Sunday.
The DOTr made the warning after a social experiment video of a vlogger on honest and dishonest cabbies in Manila went viral.
The almost 18-minute video uploaded by user “Bisayang Hilaw” on Facebook also on Sunday already reached over two million views as of press time.
Based on the video, a foreigner and his two Filipina companions were dismayed over the 11 “dishonest” drivers who refused to use the cab meter and instead asked for a fixed rate of up to P600.
Other drivers were asking for an extra P50 to P100 on top of what’s indicated on the fare meter to take them to their destination.
Only three “honest” cab drivers were encountered by the group during the social experiment and were rewarded P1,000 each.
Complaints on taxi drivers contracting and refusing to convey passengers are common especially during the holidays.
However, LTFRB Technical Division chief Joel Bolano said that this practice is a clear violation of the franchise granted to public utility vehicles (PUVs) like taxis.
Bolano said that under the agency’s joint administrative order, those drivers proven to be contracting and overcharging fares from passengers could be fined P5,000.
According to Bolano, they are already conducting an intensified campaign against abusive drivers including snub drivers who are turning down passengers even before the video was filmed.
Apart from the action of the agencies, it also called on the public to immediately report similar incidents to them for proper intervention.
“As much as possible, please provide complete details on the incident such as the names of the taxi driver, operator, or the owner of the franchise, as well as the plate number and body number of the cab. It’s also good if you can attach a video or photo,” the DOTr added.