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Congress forms new sub-committee for protecting taxi passengers

Photo by Photo Philia

The House of Representatives has created a sub-committee that is tasked to consolidate six bills proposing the creation of a ‘Taxi Passengers’ Bill of Rights’, which seeks to safeguard commuters against abusive and selective drivers.


In a preliminary hearing last Wednesday, the House Committee on Transportation formed a technical working group (TWG) that will consolidate the bills promoting the rights of taxi passengers.


Catanduanes Rep. Cesar Sarmiento, chairman on House Committee on Transportation, appointed Nueva Ecija Rep. Estrellita Suansing as the head of the sub-committee following the recommendation of ABAKADA party-list Rep. Jonathan De La Cruz.
Suansing will be consolidating Valenzuela City Congressman Win Gatchalian’s House Bill No. 3681 with House Bill Nos. 2346, 2669, 3371, 3503, and 4016 that are still pending before the House panel.


The TWG was also given the duty to seek the opinion of the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC), Land Transportation Office (LTO), Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), and other private transport groups.


Gatchalian, who is one of the proponent of the proposed ‘Taxi Passengers’ Bill of Rights’, said such legislations will protect the right of taxi passengers and commuters to decent transportation and will impose due sanctions on abusive cab drivers.


A member of House Committee on Metro Manila Development, Gatchalian said a ‘Taxi Passengers’ Bill of Rights’ will set disciplinary standards for taxi drivers in order to prevent abusive and discourteous behavior toward commuters.


“There have been tons of complaints against taxi drivers who pick passengers on their terms, refuse to carriage on particular destinations, and force you to pay an extra amount on top of the meter bill,” Gatchalian said.


“This sad state of our transportation system should not be tolerated and ignored. As such, we need a law that singly protect our commuting public who are likely dismayed and tired of this occurrence,” Gatchalian added.


The lawmaker noted Section 3, Article 1755 of the New Civil Code of the Philippines, which states the duty of taxi drivers to deliver quality service and ensure the safety of their passengers.


From the start of 2013 to June 2014, the LTFRB has received a total of 7,557 complaints against taxi drivers on reckless driving, rude behavior, overcharging, no flag down meter, contracting pay and refusal to convey pay. (Tim Alcantara)