By Camcer Ordoñez Imam
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – When it seems that every transport group in the country has been demanding for an increase in fare rates these days, taxi drivers and operators here are seeking a reduction in per kilometer and waiting time charges.
According to Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board-Region 10 (LTFRB 10) Director Aminoden Guro, drivers and operators of the more than 2,000 taxis operating in this city are asking for the reduction
Councilor Teodulfo Lao Jr., chairman of the city council’s public utilities committee, said the city’s legislature has already filed a resolution asking the LTFRB to reduce the taxi fare.
Lao said he was prompted to file the resolution when both the riding public and taxi drivers have already complained since the new taxi fare took effect a few months ago.
He said passengers have also personally called him, asking him to do something about the fare increase as they could no longer afford to take the taxi.
The drivers, in turn, have raised the issue of lesser earnings as there are now fewer passengers because of the higher taxi rates.
“If the LTFRB listens to the clamor of the people and reduce the taxi fare, we will welcome it. It will be beneficial for everybody, not only for the taxi drivers and operators but also for the riding public,” Lao told the media.
Taxis are currently charging the LTFRB-approved fare of P40 flag-down rate, plus P2 per- minute of waiting time, and P13.50 per-kilometer charges.
Drivers and operators are now proposing to decrease the waiting time charge to P3.50 for every two minutes, and the per-kilometer charge changed to P3.50 for every 300 meters.
Guro said the reduction of taxi fare would depend on the decision of the agency’s board, which will base its ruling on the petitions submitted by transport groups and the result of a public hearing or consultation.
Guro suggested to just implement a reduced rate to be deducted from the total fare, say, a P20-discount to the payment for taxis plying the downtown area or within the city’s five-kilometer radius, and keep the meter uncalibrated to minimize cost.
The farther the taxi will go, he said, the bigger will be the markdown. For instance, taxis going to the Laguindingan airport from the city may give their passengers a discount of up to P100.