BAGUIO CITY – Officials of the Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) central office vowed to attend the regular session of the local legislative body last Monday, June 11, 2018, to shed light on the approval of the prevailing taxi fare in the city described by commuters as excessive, exorbitant and confiscatory.
Vice Mayor Edison R. Bilog confirmed that LTFRB representatives requested the deferment of the supposed appearance of their officers in last June 4’s regular session because of prior commitments but assured they will appear in the council’s next meeting to explain the adopted procedures and the factors considered in the approval of the prevailing taxi fare in the city.
Earlier, the local legislative body approved a resolution also signed by Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan inviting the officials of the LTFRB central office to explain to the local officials and the city residents the procedures adopted and the factors considered in the approval of the taxi fare in the city.
City officials joined the uproar raised by passengers regarding the alleged excessive, exorbitant and confiscatory taxi fare increase approved by the LTFRB central office which caused the skyrocketing increase in their current fare compared to the old fare rate.
Under the prevailing taxi fare rate in the city, the flagdown rate was maintained at P34 while the previous P2 per 200 meters travelled was increased to P13.50 per kilometer or P2.70 per 200 meters and the previous P2 per one and a half minute waiting time was converted to P2 per minute travelled.
Bilog explained that the LTFRB central office failed to consider the P300 prevailing daily wage in the city which is not reportedly enough to meet the basic needs of the ordinary wage earners who now have to stretch their income avoiding patronizing the taxis in the city just for them to cope with the increase in the prices of other basic commodities.
According to him, local legislators will propose to the LTFRB officials a possible reconsideration of the approved taxi fare rate in the city, particularly the suspension of the P2 per minute of travel, to ease the sufferings of the ordinary wage earners although they also support the plight of the taxi operators and drivers for fare increase but not as excessive as what has been approved and now currently being imposed in the city.
Prior to the implementation of the approved taxi fare hike in the city, the LTFRB regional office subjected all the over 3,000 taxi units in the city to the regular calibration of taxi meters to reflect the approved increase while taxi units that do not have calibrated taxi meters are not authorized to implement the taxi fare increase.
Taxi operators and drivers are also expected to attend the council’s regular session to listen to the explanations of LTFRB officials regarding the procedures adopted and the factors considered by the regulatory agency in fixing the fare increase in the city.
Local officials expressed confidence that that the attendance of the LTFRB officials will have a positive result for the greater interest of the city residents.
By Dexter A. See