By Egay uy
I OFTEN take a taxi in going to meeting venues either because finding a parking slot would be difficult, when I would have my ride serviced, or when my ride conks out of commission. While there is no uniformity in the reasons why I take a taxi, there is uniformity in the fact that taxi drivers do not have change for a P500 bill.
I don’t know why taxi drivers do not carry enough money to use as change for a P500 bill, or don’t they really. We all know that it is now costly to ride cabs such that in an average trip within the city, the fare could reach about 100 pesos. The irony of it is that it is the passenger who bears the problem of looking for change so he could pay his fare to the taxi driver, which should not be the case.
Well, if you are in a hurry, just prepare some P20 and P50 bills and some loose change/coins whenever you take taxis.
Speaking of taxis, have you noticed how our roads are being flooded with cabs? Who was it who said we lack taxi units in the city?
Take a quick look at the bus terminal and market in Bulua. Cabs literally flood the taxi waiting area that is adjacent to the coastal road. Then check at Nazareno-Gaisano. Traffic jams are caused not only by jeepneys but by cabs.
At the LKKS center, taxis line up at Robinson’s, at McDo, at Shopwise, and at the south and north concourse. Then check the Agora, Puregold, Ororama Cogon and Carmen, and everywhere else. The Divisoria area is likewise flooded. All we need to do is open our eyes.
Just a few days ago, I took a taxi from the VIP Hotel to city hall after attending a meeting among department heads and chiefs of offices, Mayor Moreno, and City Administrator Teddy Sabugaa. I learned from the taxi driver that the “boundary” now ranges from P900 to P1,050 depending on the kind of unit. It doesn’t matter if he was just putting me on.
The driver told me that he could hardly meet his boundary because of the number of cabs plying the streets of the city, adding that the “colorum” units add up to their problems in unfair competition.
His lament caught my attention: “Unsaon, sir, nga kung nay operation, tawagan man dayon ang mga operator sa colorum para dili sa sila mamasahero so walay colorum nga madakpan.”
Kinsa kaha ang gatawag?
And yet some people have the gall to declare that the city needs more taxi units. Recent data, according to the LTFRB, show that there are a little more than two thousand taxi units in the city. While unbelievable, this is supposed to be the official count, and eyebrows are actually raising.
(Egay Uy is a lawyer. He chairs the City’s Regulatory and Complaint Board, co-chairs with the city mayor the City Price Coordinating Council, and chairs the city’s Joint Inspection Team. He retired as a vice president of Cepalco.)