BAGUIO CITY – Thousands of taxi operators and drivers in the city welcomed the recent decision of the Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to decrease the taxi fare rollback from the original P10 to only P5 which is applicable on the P35 flagdown rate that took effect Sunday.
Perfecto Itliong, Jr., regional coordinator of the Cordillera office of the Public Transport Affairs Office (PTAO-CAR), said taxi operators and drivers had a sigh of relief after the LTFRB handed down its decision on the matter late Wednesday afternoon last week, saying that it contributed in easing the burden from the transport sector.
“The 5 taxi fare rollback is considered a win-win solution to our earlier demand for a status quo and the subsequent decision of the LTFRB for a P10 fare rollback applicable to all taxi services nationwide,” Itliong stressed.
The PTAO-CAR official disclosed the prices of oil in the world market has become unstable that is why it is difficult to ascertain what would be the reasonable fare rollback for taxi services, saying that they will respect the decision of the LTFRB for a P5 fare rollback.
Earlier, the LTFRB recently ordered a provisional reduction of P5.00 on the existing flagdown rate of P35.00 of air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned taxi services in the Summer Capital and the rest of the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) instead of the earlier approved P10 reduction on the flagdown rate of all taxi services nationwide earlier promulgated by the Board.
In a 3-page order, LTFRB chairman Winston M. Ginez clarified the P5 provisional reduction will only be applicable to the flagdown rate of P35.00 and that no provisional reduction of fares will be further applied for every succeeding 200 meters.
However, Ginez said the order all take effect upon publication in a newspaper of general circulation of general or local circulation in CAR, as the case may be, prior to its implementation pursuant to existing rules and regulations.
“The Board is fully cognizant of the peculiar circumstances attendant to the Cordillera Administrative Region. In contrast to Metro Manila and other regions, public thoroughfares in CAR are characterized by mountainous terrain and bad road conditions in addition to its distinctly cold climate,” Ginez stressed in his order.
Likewise, the LTFRB official pointed out during the last fare increase for taxi service granted by the Board, taxi operators in CAR had filed a separate petition for fare increase which was the lower than the flagdown rate in other provinces and cities.
The authorized taxi flagdown rate in CAR prior to the imposition of the provisional fare reduction was fixed at P35.00 with an additional P2 for the succeeding 200 meters as per LTFRB decision dated 16 June 2011.
“After taking into consideration the merits of the motion for reconsideration and taking into consideration the exceptional circumstances mentioned above, this Board finds that a provisional fare reduction of P5 to the authorized flagdown rate should be applied to both air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned taxi services operating in Baguio City and the Cordillera Administrative Region,” the decision stated.
Earlier, the Baguio-La Trinidad-Itogon-Sablan-Tuba-Tublay (BLISTT) Taxi League filed a motion for reconsideration before the LTFRB seeking reconsideration of the order dated 06 March 2015 and supplemental order dated 10 March 2015 mandating a P10.00 reduction on the flagdown rate of all air-conditioned and airport taxis in the different parts of the country.
On 06 March 2015, the LTFRB ordered the provisional reduction of P10 on the existing flagdown rate of P40 of all air-conditioned taxi services, including airport taxi services in the Philippines.
Subsequently, the Board issued a supplemental order dated 10 March 2015 clarifying that the provisional reduction of P10 shall be deducted from the existing flagdown rates authorized in its region.
Taxi operators and drivers in the city were confused during the implementation of the P10 provisional reduction on the existing flagdown rate after the Cordillera office of the Public Transport Affairs Office (PTAO-CAR) issued notices to them that the LTFRB decision did not cover taxi services in the city and the Cordillera. However, such notice was immediately withdraw after the LTFRB issued the clarificatory decision. By Dexter A. See