Groups in Oro wants taxi fare rollback restrained

THE Cagayan de Oro First Taxi Drivers Alliance (Cafitada) wants to stop the implementation of a fare cut for taxis in light of the recent oil price hikes.

Cafitada President Bernie Jamaca on Wednesday said they will be seeking a temporary restraining order (TRO) on the planned reduction of the flag-down rate.

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) had earlier announced that it will begin calibrating taxi meters on March 19, bring down the flag-down rate from P40 to 30.

“Basin karong Lunes namo i-file ang TRO aron pugngan ang implementation kailangan namo agpason kini bag-o magsugod ang calibration,” Jamaca said.

The group said they filed the petition for the fare reduction before the LTFRB-10 after the series of oil price rollbacks earlier this year.

Oil prices, however, have seesawed prompting the group to revise their position.

“Among pasabton ang korte nga ang taxi industry sa CDO wala mi magmakuli sa pagpetition sa pag-reduce sa plite atong kaya pa nga P35 pa ang presyo karon nga hapit na mag P42 dili na kaya,” Jamaca said.

Jamaca said with an estimate of 40 passengers a day, drivers would lose around P400 if the flag-down rate is reduced by P10.

The group hopes that the implementation of the fare reduction will be restrained before taxi units are scheduled for calibration.

As of now, Jamaca said the group has no plans of holding protests to prevent the fare rollback and said they are going to meet with all stakeholders to further discuss and consolidate ideas for their next actions.

“Dako ang epekto gayud sa mga drivers kung mahal ang presyo sa gasoline unya ubos ang flag-down rate,” Jamaca added.

Meanwhile, taxi drivers and operators held a protest rally in front of the LTFRB in East Avenue, Quezon City to oppose the P30 flag down rate imposed by the agency.

The protest caused significant traffic delays along the East Avenue.

On March 8, LTFRB made the nationwide P30 taxi flag down rate permanent, except in the Cordillera Administrative Region, starting March 19.

The agency also reduced the running time rate of P3.50 by lengthening the distance from 300 meters to 500 meters.

Flag down rate of airport taxi was also reduced to P60, from P70.

Jun Magno, president of the Stop and Go Coalition, said cutting the taxi flag down rate to P30 from P40 does not make sense since prices of petroleum products are shooting up again.

"Gaya nyan kahapon tumaas nanaman ang presyo ng gasoline ng more than a peso, so paano na ang mga taxi driver at mga operators? Kami ang magsusuffer," he said.

Magno said income of taxi drivers may be reduced by up to P1,000 per day if the LTFRB will not stop the implementation of the P30 flag down rate.

The protesters called for the resignation of LTFRB chairman Winston Ginez for his alleged failure to effectively do his job.

But Ginez said the agency considered the welfare of the riding public in its decision to cut the flag down rate.

"Prayoridad ng pamahalaan natin ang kapakanan ng ating mga mamamayan. Dahil dito, masusing pinagaralan ng LTFRB na makatuwirang bawasan ang singil-pamasahe sa taxi at airport taxis sa buong bansa nang naaayon sa galaw ng gastusin sa transportasyon," he said. (With reports from Sunnex)
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