MANILA- The Philippine National Taxi Operators Association on Tuesday appealed for public understanding for cab drivers who ask for extra fare or refuse to ferry passengers, saying fares have remained the same for the past 8 years.
“The taxi fare has been stuck for the past 8 years… We are not tolerating the actions of the driver in asking for an additional fare and in choosing passengers but let’s try to understand why it’s being done,” Bong Suntay, president of the PNTOA said on ANC’s “Early Edition.”
Complaints against metered taxi drivers have been viral on social media following a crackdown on ride-hailing services by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).
The crackdown on alleged "colorum" vehicles of ride hailing services like Uber and Grab had drawn heavy criticism from commuters, among whom ride-sharing services have become popular amid poor services of regular metered taxis and other unreliable modes of public transport.
Suntay said it would be unfair to generalize all cab drivers as unreliable and explained that taxi fares should be made “realistic” given the inflation rate and the hellish traffic conditions that are unfavorable for drivers who depend on taxi meters.
“We will not be able to minimize incidents for an additional fare or choosing a passenger if we do not make the taxi fares realistic. Imagine it has remained the same for the past 8 years,” he said.
Suntay also clarified that they only want equal regulation for both metered cabs and ride hailing services from the country's transport regulator.
“The taxi industry has nothing against Uber and Grab but of course what we want are the legal ones to be allowed,” he said
“It’s a big market out there. We’ve always said that the two transport providers could co-exist together—TNVS (transport network vehicle services), taxis, we could co-exist together,” he added.
LTFRB spokesperson Aileen Lizada meanwhile said they are not after cutting ride hailing services and only want to implement the law.
“The only message that we want to get across is let the TNCs (transport network companies) follow the requirements set by law. This is nothing new,” she said. “We just want to put things in order.”