MANILA - Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago has filed a measure seeking to protect commuters from abuses committed by taxi drivers.
Santiago filed Senate Bill 1206 pushing for the establishment of a taxi passengers’ bill of rights to penalize abusive taxi drivers and operators.
“There are too many disturbing reports of taxi drivers and operators who take advantage of their passengers, from mere discomfort or discourtesy to robbery and physical harm.
It’s high time this transport sector shapes up,” she said.
Unlike other countries where taking a taxi is considered more of a luxury, this mode of transport is essential for both locals and tourists in the country.
“Regrettably, many of the taxi drivers and operators abuse the reliance of our countrymen and tourists,” Santiago said.
“We need to enact a law to protect our commuting public, citizens and tourists alike, from the predatory practices of some taxi drivers. By doing so, we would establish better public perception of the taxi service industry in the country,” she added.
Under the bill, taxi passengers have the right to a clean and smoke free vehicle and direct the route or expect the driver to take the most economical route.
The bill also requires taxi drivers to be courteous and helpful. They should display their identification card prominently in the vehicle.
First-time violators will be fined P2,000; P5,000 for second offense, and P10,000 for third and succeeding violations as well as the suspension of driver’s license for one week.
Taxi drivers who will fail to display the passengers’ bill of rights in the vehicle will be penalized up to P3,000.