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Taxi flagdown rate cut, but waiting time rate up

By: Michelle Joy L. Padayhag March 08,2016 - 11:17 PM

EFFECTIVE March 19 and even if taxi meters are not re-calibrated yet, the flagdown rates for regular taxi and airport taxi nationwide will be permanently reduced by P10 to P30 and P60, respectively.

The regular taxi’s rate for succeeding kilometers has also been adjusted to P3.50 for every succeeding 500 meters after the first 500 meters, instead of the current 300 meters.

The bad news is passengers stuck in traffic will end up paying more because the current waiting time rate of P3.50 per 120 seconds will be applied every 90 seconds instead. Under the old rate, a 90-second waiting time would have cost only P2.625.

“We are also considering the drivers especially during traffic hours. Hindi na nila masasabi na hindi sila makakakita lalo na pag traffic because waiting time has been adjusted already,” Antonio Enrile Inton, Jr., member of the board of the Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) told Cebu Daily News.

The new rates are contained in an order signed yesterday by LTFRB Chairman Winston Ginez together with board members Inton, Ronaldo F. Corpus, and Robert Peig, officer-in-charge for the Office of the Executive Director.

“What we have come up with is a win-win solution for drivers and passengers,” Inton said in a phone interview.

The Cebu Integrated Transport Service Multi-purpose Cooperative (Citrasco), however, is not entirely happy with the order.

Citrasco chairman Ryan Benjamin Yu said they were fine with the reduced flagdown rate, which has been in effect since last year.

But they plan to ask LTFRB to reconsider the distance extension to 500 meters.

“Mubo ra kaayo ang sagad biyahe dinhi sa ato, lahi sa Manila. Ang mahitabo niana, alkansi kaayo ang mga drivers,” he said.

Despite this, he said he has no plans to adjust the rental rates for Citrasco taxi units because spare parts remain expensive.

For airport taxis, the rate for succeeding kilometers was also adjusted to  P4 for every succeeding 500 meters after the first 500 meters while the waiting time would be P4 per 90 seconds.

Inton said drivers who do not comply with the new rates will be penalized for overcharging.

“The penalty for such franchise violation shall be in the amount of P5,000 pursuant to the Joint Administrative Order (JAO) 2014-01 issued by the Department of Transportation and Communications,” the LTFRB order reads.

Operators will still be required to re-calibrate the taxi meters, which costs P3,000 per meter. Those who fail to comply shall be charged a penalty of P5,000.

Plates ending with 4, 9 and 2 are scheduled for re-calibration in April. Plates ending with 5, 0 and 7 are scheduled for May while plates ending in 1, 3, 6 and 8 are scheduled for June.

LTFRB-7 Assistant Regional Director Reynaldo Elnar said it usually takes three months to calibrate all taxi units in Cebu.

At present, there are 5,700 units in Cebu. Expenses for the calibration and resealing will be shouldered by the operators. /With correspondent Jhunnex Napallacan

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