Get ready for increase in cab fares: director

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Monday, November 8, 2010


TAXI fare rates may be increased two months from now based on a petition filed by taxi operators six years ago, an official of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) said.

There’s no need to conduct public hearings because the previous LTFRB officials already held such hearings and the petition was submitted for decision, said LTFRB board member Manuel Iway.

Flagdown rates may rise from P30 to P40. After the first 500 meters, the charge may also be adjusted from the present P2.50 for every 250 meters to P3 for every 200 meters, said Iway.

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The old LTFRB board did not rule on the petition because of the fluctuating prices of fuel (diesel and gasoline) and the fact that about 76 percent of the taxi units were already running on the cheaper liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), he explained.

Iway said he will favor an increase in taxi fare rates, on two conditions.

First, taxi operators must issue receipts based on the metered charge. Second, operators must provide three sets of uniforms for each driver.

He said that although the price of meters has decreased from P15,000 to P5,000, getting it will still be a burden to the taxi operators.

Land Transportation Office (LTO) 7 Operations Officer Aden Belza said the issuance of taxi meter receipts is supposed to be followed nationwide.

“This was questioned (by taxi operators) before the Supreme Court, which ruled in favor of the government. One of the purposes of these taxi meter receipts is to let the BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue) effectively monitor and improve tax collection from the operators,” Belza said.

A percentage of the gross receipts is supposed to go to the government, he added.

“Operators who will not use machines that issue receipts are not allowed to increase,” Iway said.

It is the LTFRB that sets public transportation fares.

Iway, however, said he may inhibit himself from the decision on adjusting fare rates, after a reporter pointed out that Iway used to oppose proposals for a taxi rate increase.

In 2008, Iway asked LTFRB to abolish the taxi fare add-on of P10 and criticized taxi operators for being insensitive to the plight of commuters.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on November 08, 2010.

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