LTFRB cuts taxi flagdown rate by P10

Robertzon Ramirez - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has finally made permanent the provisional P30 flagdown rate, more than a year after the agency approved a P10 rollback from the previous P40 flagdown for all taxicabs in Metro Manila.

LTFRB chairman Winston Ginez explained that regularizing the P30 flagdown came after the recent major rollback in oil prices. It will take effect on March 19.

Ginez said that taxicabs would be mandated to charge P3.50 for every succeeding 500 meters and P3.50 for every 90 seconds of waiting time.

He said that a P10 rollback in the flagdown rate of airport taxis will also take effect, which means that the current P70 flagdown will be reduced to P60, then P4 for every 500 meters and P4 for every 90 seconds of waiting time.

Ginez added that the board’s decision stemmed from the recommendation of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

“The new flagdown rate for taxis and airport taxis shall be effective 10 days from publication (March 19), even without calibration and resealing of their taxis,” Ginez said.

The taxi meter calibration for vehicles with license plates ending in numbers four, nine, and two will be in April, plates ending in five, seven and zero will be in May and plate numbers ending in one, three, six and eight in June.

The calibration will be conducted in the LTFRB central office, National Capital Region (NCR) and different regional offices.

The calibration, which should be a responsibility of the taxi operator, must only be done at the LTFRB’s accredited centers.

Taxicabs that were calibrated would have a color fuchsia taxi meter seal with a corresponding code from the LTFRB, Ginez said.

He said that an operator who fails to calibrate and reseal taxi meters will pay a fine of P5,000 while taxi drivers who defy the fare cut would be fined P5,000 as stated under the Joint Administrative Order (JAO) of the LTFRB and the Land Transportation Office (LTO).

He, however, clarified that the regularization of the P30 flag-down rate in all taxis is not applicable in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) as they only have a P5 rollback in flagdown.

But the permanent flagdown rate of taxis in Baguio City will be P30, P2 for every 400 meters and P2 for waiting time of 60 seconds.

Some taxi operators, meanwhile, cried foul over the decision of the LTFRB.

Philippine National Taxi Operators Association (PNTOA) president Bong Suntay said the LTFRB would slowly kill the taxicab industry in Metro Manila with such an unfair decision.

“That’s foolish. They would kill the taxi industry, they did not only implement a reduction but even the succeeding rate was included,” Suntay said.

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