Delivering services to taxi passengers is a privilege, not a right.
This is what Valenzuela City Congressman Win Gatchalian emphasized to a group of taxi operators when asked why his proposed “House Bill No. 3681”, also known as the “Bill of Rights of Taxi Passengers”, only covers the right of commuters.
Gatchalian, a member of House Committee on Trade and Industry, reminded taxi drivers that since the legality of their jobs is based on government-issued franchise, they are bound to prioritize the delivery of transport service more than their rights.
“Taxi ride is a service that drivers offer and this service comes from the legality of your franchise. Ngayon, ang franchise po kasi is a privilege to serve,” Gatchalian explained.
“Lagi ko po kasing naririnig sa mga taxi driver: ‘Bakit kami walang rights?’ Kasi po hindi naman namin pwedeng protektahan ang rights niyo dahil pribilehiyo po mismo ang ginagawa niyo,” he noted.
Last December 4, members of Damper Taxi Association went to Gatchalian’s office to question him on the lack of provision to protect taxi drivers and operators in the “Taxi Passengers Bill of Rights” that he filed in the House of Representatives.
But the lawmaker advised taxi operators and drivers can still file a complaint before the Land Transportation, Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) or other proper authorities in case commuters committed an offense against them.
The former Valenzuela City mayor clarified that his main goal in the proposed measure is to impose minimum disciplinary standards on taxi drivers and operators in the services they provide to the commuting public.
“Dahil binigyan po kayo ng pribilehiyong magserbisyo, ang aking intensyon lamang sa panukalang batas ay maglatag ng mga minimum standard para masigurado na maayos ang kalagayan ng mga pasahero,” he said.
Gatchalian vowed to invite the taxi group in the next sub-committee hearing at the House of Representatives to hear their comments on HB 3681 and five other similar proposed measures. (Tim Alcantara)