A sub-committee in the House of Representatives has extended the hearing on the proposed “Bill of Rights of Taxi Passengers” to give way for comments and inputs of groups of taxi drivers.
Valenzuela City Congressman Win Gatchalian recommended to the technical working group or TWG under the House Committee on Transportation to conduct another hearing to give an opportunity for taxi drivers to comment on the proposed legislation on the rights of taxi commuters.
Gatchalian is the author of House Bill No. 3681 or the “Bill of Rights of Taxi Passengers” that is currently being consolidated with five other similar measures: HB 2346, 2669, 3371, 3503, and 4016.
“We should be more prudent and patient in passing this ‘Bill of Rights of Taxi Passengers’ since the livelihood of taxi drivers will be directly affected when this proposed measure enacted into law, “ Gatchalian said.
“It would be unfair to the associations of taxi drivers if we passed a law without even consulting them, considering that they are a major stakeholder in this bill,” he added.
The sub-committee, chaired by Nueva Ecija Rep. Estrellita Suansing, agreed to the suggestion of Gatchalian to conduct another hearing to get the input of taxi drivers.
The House panel invited DUMPER Philippines Taxi Drivers Association, Inc. or DPTDAI as representatives of taxi drivers but the group failed to present themselves during the hearing.
In DPTDAI’s position paper on the proposed legislations, the group said taxi drivers should also be given the right to file a complaint against a taxi passenger, noting that the law should not be “one-sided” and “must have a system to also protect the rights of taxi passengers”.
Related news: Taxi ride is a service rendered to the commuting public.
DPTDAI also questioned several provisions in Gatchalian’s HB 3681 such as “accepting all trips regardless of length’ and ‘carriage of animals”.
“What law would protect taxi drivers from the loss of return trip without passenger if a commuter asks to be transported from within Metro Manila to as far as Quezon Province?” DPTDAI asked.
“A taxi franchise with NCR route are affected by a law that prevents them to pick up a passenger on the way back, for instance, from Rizal province areas,” DPTDAI stated.
The group also urged lawmakers to look into the standardization of taxi boundary and fight for the labor rights of taxi drivers under their respective taxi operators.