Cebu News

Taxi flagdown down by P10

The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Starting Monday, the flagdown rate for taxis will be lowered from the current P40 to P30 all over the country.

Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board-7 director Rey Elnar said that he received a call from LTFRB chairman Winston Gines yesterday about this matter.

Elnar said that LTFRB has adopted his earlier recommendation to lower the flagdown rate by P10.

“Chairman Gines called me up this morning that taxi fare will be reduced provisionally by P10 for the flagdown rate starting Monday nationwide,” Elnar said.

The last time the flagdown was P30 was in December 2010 before it went up to P40.

The yellow taxis that serve the Mactan-Cebu International Airport are also included, from P70 their flagdown will be P60.

Ryan Benjamin Yu, general manager and president of Cebu Integrated Transport Service Multi-purpose Coope-rative (CITRASCO), said that taxi operators in Cebu are opposed to any taxi fare reduction. Yu said he still has to talk to his lawyer whether he will file a motion for reconsideration or a temporary restraining order.

Yu said riding a taxi is a form of luxury unlike taking the jeepney which is a means of transport for the masses.

Earlier, the Metro Cebu Taxi Operators Association headed by Richard Cabucos also opposed any fare reduction. CITRASCO, which has 200 taxi units in Cebu, is not a member of MCTOA.

During the public hearing last December, MCTOA opposed any fare reduction citing that prices of spare parts have remained the same despite fuel price reduction.

But Elnar said despite opposition, operators and taxi drivers have to comply with the order otherwise they will be charged for overcharging.

Last December, Elnar recommended a taxi fare reduction of P10 for the flagdown rate with no further reduction in the succeeding 300 meters which is P3.50. This was his recommendation, taking into consideration the prices of spare parts.

As for the vans-for-hire, Elnar recommended a fare reduction of twenty centavos from the current P2 per kilometer to P1.80 per kilometer. But as of yesterday, Elnar said this matter will be decided by the board members of LTFRB two weeks from now.

Van-for-hire operators, however, were divided on the issue on fare rollback as some opposed it while others said they are okay with it provided that in case of fuel price increase, they can immediately increase fare.

Succeeding rate too

While the LTFRB already ordered to reduce the flagdown rate starting Monday, the lawmaker who filed the petition for the reductions is still not satisfied.

Negros Oriental Representative Manuel Iway, a former LTFRB board member, was expecting that the board would also reduce by P1 the P3.50 rate for every succeeding 300 meters of travel and the waiting time to P2.50 from the P3 for every two minutes.

Interviewed over dyLA, taxi driver Jun Marquez said each taxi driver will lose about P400 to P500 in daily income with the reduction of the flagdown rates and this will greatly affect them.

Marquez said with the reduction of their income, they hope taxi operators will also reduce the daily rent, but he said it is very unlikely because most of the operators will also explain that the prices of spare parts are not going down.

According to Marquez he rents his taxi for P860 daily and spends about P900 fuel every day.

“Mokita ko usahay og sobra P2,000 sa 24 hours nga pamasahero pero kun ibanan na og P10 ang flagdown rates maibanan g’yud ang kita sa mga taxi drivers.”

Prices of regular gasoline in most fuel stations in Metro Cebu now cost P40 per liter and close to P30 per liter for the liquefied petroleum gas that most of the taxi units are using.

Evelyn Sarsalejo, 26, of Barangay Mabolo said while she is happy over the LTFRB’s order to lower the flagdown rate the P3.50 rate for the succeeding 300 meters should be also reduced.

“Kun imo g’yud nga sabton pag-ayo, ang pasahero sa mga taxi makamenos lang og P10 sa kada sakay nila og taxi,” Sarsalejo explained. — /BRP Mitchell L. Palaubsanon, Staff Member, Rene U. Borromeo, Banat News Associate Editor


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