Deceitfully Yours, Manong Taxi Drayber
It was Friday noon of June 29th, a cloudy day in Iloilo Airport. I picked up my fellow Geo-Advocate Wayne Manuel from the airport in Iloilo. It was his first time coming to Iloilo and I am glad to be at his service to have him greeted at the airport and send him to his hotel at the city. I was to finish several tasks that day, so we opted to take the easiest and fastest mode of public transportation between the airport and the city—the taxi.
We went to the “Metered Taxi” cabs section of the arrival area, where we rode a white taxi called Light Year Taxi with plate number FWY-334. I haven’t identified the driver’s name. He doesn’t have a visible ID…or the ID itself may be there but not an “attention grabber.”
I am aware that the current tariff rate (or airport fare) between Iloilo City Proper and the Airport for “metered taxis” is around P300 to P350. That’s legal, since it has been recognized by the Land Transportation Franchising Bureau (LTFRB), and even has it posted at the airport’s arrival area, so the people may know.
Recently however, I don’t see that LTFRB tarp at the airport.
As we whisked away, I told the taxi driver to have it metered, even if there is a tariff, as we need an official receipt for liquidation processes. We’ll still pay the tariff rate, yet we just need the OR.
Then, it turned ugly.
The driver insisted us to pay P500, which he claimed that “the fare came from CAAP itself!”
Yes, I am aware of the difference between the “coupon taxi” and “metered taxi,” and I am 100% sure we embarked at the “metered taxi” loading area which is on the southern end of the passenger terminal.
He presented a photocopy of the fare matrix which allegedly came from CAAP.
Yes indeed. The photocopy is from CAAP. The header reads like this:
“Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines
CAAP Act No____
Iloilo City – 500
Pavia – 400”
And I got suspicious. No logo of CAAP. No signature in the photocopy. It was folded and looks like it was just photocopied in a cheap photocopier in the city. And why was it not visible to the public and was folded inside the dashboard compartment?
Then I insisted, “Manong, waay pa bala nagsaka ang taripa! Ngaa panuktan mo kami na? Ngaa wala pa kami kabalo sina? Kag ngaa sa CAAP ina naghalin? Di bala ang LTFRB lang ang pwede makahimu sina? Basta indi ko magbayad sang P500!” (Manong, the tariff hasn’t been raised! Why are you charging us for that? Why aren’t we informed as a passenger? Why is it that it came from CAAP? Isn’t it the LTFRB can only do such a thing? We are not going to pay you P500!)
The driver replied, “Naghalin bala ina sa babaw! Ari hu, pakita ko pa sa imo! Basta P500 na ang panukot sa pa-city proper!” (It came from the authorities. Here! I even showed it up to you! We charge P500 for the trip from the airport to city proper!)
Irritated, I demanded the cab driver to stop right at that instance. We were still inside in the airport premises.
Wayne was silent. He was speechless.
I was furious. Guinatonto mo ko haw?
“Panaugi na kami bala!” I said. (Let us go!)
“Balik ko bi sa guinapilahan ko! Daw maputo ko sa inyo ah!” he irately replied. (Then let me return to where I fall in line. I’ll go caput with you!”)
Then we came back to where we came from…at the front of the arrival area—at the metered taxi loading zone. The taxi then went to the front area and disappeared.
I was fuming mad with the taxi driver’s lie. I am informed that there is an ongoing deliberation between the government authorities and the taxi operators in Iloilo, since the latter would like to increase their tariff to P500 or whatever the meter indicates, pay in double—if we go outside of Iloilo City.
Since it was Friday afternoon, I got a scheduled seminar that we organized, leave Iloilo by Sunday, and I have no time filing a formal complaint at LTFRB. I was left without a choice but to have the incident complained to Department of Tourism, since I’ll be meeting with the acting regional director herself that afternoon.
And to my surprise, I wasn’t the only one who complained about the same thing. There were others before me.
I hate being deceived. But it was saddening to know that the deceit happened in my beloved hometown, and my fellow kasimanwa did that. I only thought that this is possible only in Manila. I was wrong, and it hurts.
What if Wayne took that taxi and I advised him through call or text that the rate is only P300-P350 in the published fare matrix of the LTFRB, then he paid P500 since the driver insisted him to do so? Isn’t it embarassing for us Ilonggos who pride ourselves for being genteel and have great heritage?
In my opinion
I have been travelling the Philippines now and have taken taxi cabs from the airport occasionally. I have been to numerous tricks by taxi drivers, mostly in Manila. Meandering from one road to another or using butingting to corrupt the meter in the taxi.
But this happened in Iloilo. In a region known for tourism, warm hospitality, and an airport that is prepping up for international flights, this incident is downright embarrassing. The local and foreign tourists may think that Iloilo’s taxi cabs are robbing them in broad daylight. Not all passengers and travelers are rich! But using the name of CAAP (a struggling government agency that is still yet to clear its name from Category 2 status) and insisting that it is from the authorities is one big fat baloney. Deceiving passengers should stop. Mahuya naman kita abi palihug.
Again, as of the moment…it is still P300 to P350 from airport to Iloilo City and vice versa for “metered taxis.” If this is expensive still, good thing Iloilo Airport has other choices available. Click here to read more on affordable public transportation going to and from Iloilo Airport. It’ll save you a lot to be informed! Be vigilant as always!
Kag sa mga gabutig kag gapanunto nga mga draybers da, ari hu: Indi na lang ko maghulag, pero budlay na kon karma na ang magahulag. Pamensaron na lang bala ang mga drayber nga wala gapanunto kag kita mga Ilonggo, kon amu na ang aton nga batasan.
I know that the proposal of increasing taxi fares for out-of-town journeys are still being studied, but let us not seize opportunity in deceiving people that it has already been implemented.
I understand why the Department of Tourism is steadfast in this issue. They are also protecting the rights, not just only of the tourists and the passengers, but also the taxi operators and Iloilo itself. If the pricing becomes predatory, in my opinion, the fuse has been lit—demand decreases, supplies increase, surplus comes, no one wants to go to taxi cabs anymore—lugi ang negosyo. If deceitful ways will still push through, our reputation as a hospitable bunch may be tarnished—oportunista gali kita kag tunto? It’s not just business that may fade away with deceit, but also our well-cared name.
I’m just an ordinary passenger, an ordinary consumer. I don’t have a clout or even authority. I’m just an average joe that travels a lot. But by being informed, we have the power to make things right.
I’m waiting for their reply. I’m waiting for the development of the news. I just hope we can balance out what the businessmen needs and the public interest—and if possible, weed out malain nga hilamon in the roster of our taxi cabs. After all, the taxi drivers are the ambassadors of Iloilo in their own way of public service. Let’s be honest please–follow the example of the Davao cabbies. Ngalan sang bilog nga Iloilo, bilog nga Western Visayas, kag kita mga Ilonggo ang ara sa risgo kon padayunon pa naton ang gapang-into sa iban. Makunsensya kita tani palihug.