LTFRB warns ‘picky’ taxi drivers

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Tuesday, December 19 warned all taxi drivers here against refusing passengers with destinations away from downtown areas.

“If that is how you act then you will meet the sanctions you deserve. We will direct our enforcers to monitor all of you,” lawyer Aileen Lizada, spokesperson and board member of LTFRB said in an interview.

Lizada maintained that the drivers’ act of overcharging and refusal to take passengers were strictly prohibited as taxis are considered public utility vehicle (PUV) and drivers are doing “public service.”

“If you are not interested to be a public utility driver anymore, no one is forcing you. You better find another job,” she said.

Lizada also said that they will be directing enforcers to monitor taxi drivers especially now that Christmas is nearing and people will be busy for the holidays.

“Do not abuse the season of Christmas,” she added.

Taxi operators will be penalized with P5,000 for first offense, P10,000 for second offense and P15,000 plus cancellation of franchise for third offense.

Stricter penalties

Lizada said LTFRB is currently in partnership with the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to impose stiffer penalties among drivers since the current law punishes operators only.

“Kaya malakas ang loob ng mga taxi drivers kasi walang penalty sa kanilang lisensya (That is why drivers are emboldened because there are no penalty in their licenses),” Lizada said.

This, LTFRB is pushing for the inclusion of stricter punishment for such violation in the Implementing Rules and Regulation of the five-year validity of driver’s license.

Violators will be soon facing three to nine months suspension and possible cancellation of driver’s license. This is expected to be implemented by early quarter in 2018.

Lizada urged PUV drivers to take care of their license by “doing what is right and proper.” (