BAGUIO CITY – The local legislative body urged the Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) board to conduct public hearings relative to the proposed reduction of the excessive taxi fare in the city for the members to be appraised on the prevailing situation and the issues that warrant the desired reduction on the approved taxi fare.
Department of Transportation–Cordillera regional director lawyer Jose Eduardo R. Natividad expressed his support to the council’s request for these LTFRB public hearings on the petitioned taxi fare reduction in the city and he will make the necessary representations to the board for them to consider the urgent request because of the valid plight of the city’s motorists and more importantly, the riding public.
Natividad informed local legislators he has transmitted to the LTFRB board the approved resolutions expressing the local government’s sentiments on the excessive taxi fare increase that the LTFRB approved in October 2017.
“We will make the necessary representations to the LTFRB board to consider the proposed conduct of one of its public hearings in the city for them to be appraised on the issues and concerns raised by the public regarding the approved taxi fare increase which had been the subject of public uproar over the past several weeks,” Director Natividad stressed.
Under the prevailing taxi fare, the flag down rate of P35 was maintained while the P2 for every 200 meters of travel was increased to P2.70 per 200 meters of travel or P13.50 per kilometer traveled and the previous P2 per 1 minute and 30 seconds waiting time was converted to P2 for every minute travel time. Local legislators raised the fact the LTFRB board failed to consider the prevailing minimum daily wage of P300 per day in the city which is much lower compared to the over P500 minimum daily wage in Metro Manila aside from the fact that there are other supervening factors that affect the spending of the public on their daily needs, thus, the need for the LTFRB board to really consider the proposal to reduce the excessive taxi fare in the city. According to Natividad, the approved flag down rate of P35 in the city is lower than the P40 flag down rate that was approved by the LTFRB in other cities having taxi units while the P13.50 per kilometer and P2 per kilometer traveled is actually similar in all localities in the country.
Aside from Baguio City that filed the opposition to the excessive taxi fare hike, Natividad claimed that the transport sector of Cagayan de Oro City also filed their opposition to the approved taxi fare increase in their place and only Baguio and Cagayan de Oro were the localities that opposed the said taxi fare increase which took effect last March 2018.
He claimed all text messages from concerned officials and citizens and approved resolutions from local governments expressing their sentiments against the approved taxi fare increase in the city were immediately transmitted to the LTFRB board, thus, the incumbent board members are aware of the plight of the people and officialdom of the city regarding the prevailing taxi fare hike that is why it is best for the LTFRB board to heed the call of the people for them to conduct a number of their hearings in the city for them to appreciate their sentiments for the possible reduction of the taxi fare, particularly the scrapping of the P13.50 per kilometer traveled which has caused the enormous increase in the taxi fare. By Dexter A. See