Lesser taxis plying Metro Manila routes due to high fuel prices
There are lesser taxis in Metro Manila roads as drivers have been reeling from high fuel prices, says the Philippine National Taxi Operators Association.
Quezon City Rep. Jesus Suntay, president of the taxi operators group, said drivers have been losing P41,000 due to rising oil prices. This is why the P6,500 fuel subsidy would not be enough to help them continue operations.
Around 35,000 taxi units in Metro Manila are still operating while 15,000 units have stopped operating, he said.
“The additional cost to taxi drivers is 48,000 pesos since the price of gas has doubled. The taxi fare now was based on when the price of gas was 40 pesos, but now it has become 80 pesos. Taxi drivers lose 41,000 pesos,” Suntay told The Daily Manila Shimbun in a phone interview Wednesday.
“The problem is, after December 2021, since January 2022, that’s when fuel prices started rising. So drivers have not recovered yet. Before, the problem was the pandemic. Now, the problem is the rising fuel cost,” he said.
On Tuesday, gasoline prices ranged from P82 to P84 per liter while diesel prices were fetching at least P90 per liter after the latest round of fuel price hikes.
The price of diesel went up by P3.10 per liter while gasoline rose by 0.80 per liter.
Suntay said PNTOA has filed the petition before the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board for a provisional 20-peso increase to the flag down rate of P40. He did not say when the LFTRB will hold a hearing.
He said that no operator consents to taxi drivers choosing their passengers, but because there are some areas where they could not get more passengers, they reject them.
“They (operators) don’t consent the driver in making arrangements with the passenger because it’s not allowed. It’s illegal. So no operator in his right mind would consent with the driver or allow it,” Suntay said.
“But the thing is, that’s why we’re appealing for (LTFRB) to grant the fare increase to minimize incidents like this because drivers are unable to earn. They are now trying to compensate by doing something which is wrong,” he added. Jaspearl Tan/DMS