Cabbies warned: Stiffer penalties for refusing passengers soon

THE Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) have partnered the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to craft stiffer penalties on taxi drivers who refuse to take passengers to their desired destination.

LTFRB Board member and spokesperson Aileen Lizada said in an interview during the Hirna taxing hailing app launching on Tuesday, that most of the penalties for this offense are imposed upon the taxi operators, which is also the reason why drivers are much more defiant to the law.

"Nag partner kami with LTO kasi ang penalty na ito ay puro sa operators. Kasi malakas ang loob ng drivers kasi walang penalty sa kanilang lisensya. That is why LTFRB is pushing for a stiffer penalty para sa mga drivers na ito sa Implementing Rules and Regulation (IRR),” Lawyer Lizada said.

Lizada said they are pushing for a three-month suspension for the driver for the first offense; six-month suspension on the second; and a nine-month suspension and confiscation and/or cancelation of the driver’s license.

She said the IRR for Republic Act 4136 or the Land Transportation Traffic Code is now being crafted.

"So diba, may bago ngayon na five years, so ang gusto namin meron kaming say doon sa public utility vehicle drivers kasi lumilipat lang itong mga drivers, from utility van, taxi, to bus," she said.

"So alagaan niyo po ang lisensya ninyo by doing kung ano ang tama," Lizada said.

Lizada also reminded taxi drivers, especially those who were reported to refuse passengers, to shape up or face sanctions.

"Reminder sa taxi drivers, especially here in Davao kayo po ang ginagamit naming model sa Manila, kayo yung sinasabi namin na 'garbo' (pride), kasi kayo ang unang pinupuntahan ng local tourists, and even foreign tourists. Sa inyo po kami kumukuha ng guidance saan papunta, pero kung ganito ang asta niyo, you will meet the sanctions na dapat sa inyo. We will direct our enforcers to monitor all of you, dapat po bawal isnabero, akala ang isnabero doon lang sa Metro Manila, meron pala dito," Lizada said.

She advised passengers not to inquire drivers if they can go to the destination they want to go.

"Doon sa pasahero, huwag po kayong magtanong, kung pwede bang papuntang Toril, pwede bang papuntang Lasang, sumakay lang kayo diretso kasi lahat po yan sila ay naissuehan namin ng prankisa; meron kayong prankisa ibig sabihin na public utility service kayo, you are doing public service, so we warn you," she said.

She added that she is sure that the local government unit is also not tolerating this act of drivers toward the passengers; she said that if these drivers no longer want to be PUV drivers they are free to find another job.

"Kung hindi po kayon interesado maging PUV driver, wala pong namimilit sa inyo, hanap nalang po kayo ng ibang trabaho. Huwag niyo pog idadamay ang mga honest taxi drivers, hindi ko po nilalahat, huwag niyo pong abusuhin ang season ng Christmas," she said.

Lizada said that in Manila they have task force crusaders to monitor these drivers.

"If need be kung kailangan dito dagdagan natin yung multiplier force para i-monitor yung mga taxi bay at i-monitor ang mga isnabero," she said.

She added that the agency is willing to do such measure to straighten this attitude of drivers.

"Kailangan po natin itong gawin, otherwise, tutuloy at tutuloty ang inyong asta, at dalhin all year round, hindi na ito tama," Lizada said.
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