By ADELA DEYAEN WAYAS
BAGUIO CITY — The formal opposition from the Mabalot Taxi group to the petition to increase the flagdown rate of taxis has been received last February 15 by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) still stands.
The petition of the Samahan ng mga Taxi sa Cordillera (STC) to increase the flag down rate from P25 to P40 has been officially opposed by the Mabalot Taxi represented by its owner and operator Jane Mabalot.
In a petition filed by STC they proposed a P40 flagdown rate for the 1st 400 meters, an additional P2 for the next succeeding 150 meters and P2 for every 1 minute 30 seconds waiting time rate.
The opposition filed by Mabalot, said the P40 increase will pose another burden on the Taxi operators who shall have to purchase new taxi meters in conformity to new flag down rates and shell out payments to the LTFRB for the official calibration of the meters.
Thus, the oppositor then counter proposed that the flag down rate of P25, P1.50 for the succeeding 200 meters, and P1.50 for every 1 minute and 30 seconds waiting time shall stand as is, and only an additional P15 and the total metered cost shall be paid to the taxi driver by the contracting passengers.
The taxi operators shall no longer have to spend for new taxi meters, the oppositor stated.
However, according to STC vice-president for Baguio, Venusto Dacpano they are not going to amend their petition following the proposal of Mabalot. He said they only planned to add to their petition-proposal a request that only the newly required taxi-meter printer would be purchased and installed. Instead of the purchase of a new meter and the required taxi-meter printer.
We plan to file our petition directly to the national office of LTFRB, said Dacpano, if they would still oppose their amended petition on the next hearing.
Dacpano said with the continuing oil price hikes, it is also their right to increase the taxi fare as well. He said the fare increase is for the taxi drivers and operators to survive also. He added drivers and operators are not earning much in the 24 hrs of driving service to the passengers.
“We only earn a small amount which our wives budget for the food we eat, education for our children and other necessities,” Dacpano stressed. He added this can get worse if driving is the source living of the family.
In the 24 hours of toiling on the road, he estimated that the drivers would only take home a meagre amount ranging from P300 to P500 per day which is not enough for the basic needs of a family. The operator would get P700 to P900 however the cost of maintenance of the taxi is borne by them.
Dacpano admitted that if their petition would be approved they might lose passengers but he hopes that it would only be in the beginning. # nordis.net