Why airport cabs ask for higher fares

by Dharel Placido, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Apr 16 2014 08:24 PM | Updated as of Apr 17 2014 04:24 AM

MANILA – A lawmaker on Wednesday said the high fares being charged by accredited cabs at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) should be investigated.

Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez said he has received several complaints about the airport taxis' P70 flag-down rate and P4 for every succeeding 300 meters.

Regular cabs have a flag-down rate of P40. They charge P3.50 for every succeeding 300 meters.

Rodriguez also scored the practices of barring regular cabs from picking up passengers from the airport, and preventing passengers from leaving the departure area to hail regular cabs.

"In other airports, they allow regular taxis to pick up passengers at the regular flag-down rate. Ang mga passengers nagko-complain na bina-block sila kapag gusto nila [lumabas] sa departure area," Rodriguez told dzMM.

Rodriguez said he understands the wisdom behind the airport authorities' move to accredit certain taxi operators, but he said this should not come at the expense of the passengers.

"I understand na sometimes the airport would want to secure the passenger... Ngunit ang maganda dyan, hindi yung pinapataas ang presyo," he said.

"Kung mag-accredit man sila, iyan ay dapat parehas din ang metro. Accreditation does not mean na tataasan mo ang presyo."

Rodriguez said he has also received reports that some airport taxi drivers were not using their cab meters and were instead asking for fixed rates from passengers.

"May isang pasahero, P620 ang na-charge from the airport to the SM Mall of Asia, eh ang lapit non," he said.

Rodriguez said this practice could destroy the image of the Philippines, since some of the passengers of the airport cabs are foreigners.

He said he has already filed a resolution asking the House committee on transportation to discuss the matter.

"We want to protect our country. We want not only to help our fellow Filipinos, but also to protect the image of our country," he said.

LTFRB defends airport cabs

Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) chairman Winston Ginez said the higher than normal rates were allowed by the board because of the nature of airport cabs.

Ginez said airport cabs, after bringing the passengers to their respective destinations, should go back straight to the airport and not pick up passengers on the way.

"Kahit ganon pa man ang patakaran natin, eh nakakatanggap din po kami ng mga complaint, dahil misan, may mga taxi operator pa rin dyan na hindi nagbababa ng metro at nangongontrata," he said.

Ginez said the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) entered into concession agreements with several taxi operators.

He said a concession agreement is required in order for the operator to obtain a franchise from the LTFRB.

Ginez said another type of airport cab, called the "coupon taxi", operates on a fixed rate basis. He said the rates of this type of taxi were approved by the LTFRB.