Valenzuela City Congressman Win Gatchalian has welcomed the House committee-level passage of a substitute bill he authored which lists the rights of taxi passengers and penalizes violating cab drivers.
“We thank the House Committee on Transportation for approving the measure, which will help protect unsuspecting passengers from rude and abusive taxi drivers,” said Gatchalian, one of the principal authors of the proposed “Bill of Rights of Taxi Passengers”.
Under the measure, taxi patrons shall have the right to a licensed, courteous, sober, and properly dressed drivers. Those who work for taxi companies will be required to wear a complete uniform and company ID.
Passengers shall have the right to direct the route or expect the most economical route, except if the itinerary will endanger life or cause damage to the taxi. They shall also be entitled to pay the exact rate shown by the taxi meter and to be given the exact amount of change as well as a printed receipt.
Riders shall also hold the right to be picked up and transported to their stated destination regardless of the length of journey or traffic condition.
“Gone are the days of cab drivers who refuse to pick up passengers for some destinations or abuse their passengers by forcing them to pay extra,” said Gatchalian, who is a member of National People’s Coalition (NPC).
The “Taxi Passengers’ Bill of Rights” also entitle passengers to see the taxi’s plate number and the emergency numbers of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and other concerned agencies on the side door or in any noticeable place within the vehicle.
In case of mechanical or engine trouble, passengers have the right to a substitute taxi or be aided to find another one.
Taxi drivers found violating any right of passengers shall face a fine of P1,000 and a 7-day license suspension for their first offense; P3,000 and 6-month license suspension for their second offense, and; P5,000 and 1-year license suspension for the third and subsequent offenses.
The measure has hurdled the House Transportation Committee last week.
Similar bills filed by Senators Grace Poe and Miriam Defensor-Santiago are pending in the Senate committee on public services.
Earlier this month, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) summoned a taxi driver named Rolando Camara for cursing at a passenger who declined to give him an additional P50.00 as well as cabbie Roger Catipay who was caught on video threatening his passenger because of a disagreement over fare. (Monica Cantilero)