P10 reduction in taxi flag down rate effective March 9

P10 reduction in taxi flag down rate effective March 9
(UPDATED) Thanks to prevailing low oil prices in the world market, the Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board slashes P10 from the current P40-taxi flag down rate

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has approved the provisional reduction of the flag down rate of taxis to P30 ($0.68) from the current P40 ($0.91), effective Monday, March 9.

The LTFRB issued the order on Friday, March 6, citing prevailing lower world oil prices in ordering the reduction, which covers all air-conditioned taxi services, including airport taxi service nationwide.

Taxi operators and drivers who violate the order will be slapped with a P5000 ($113.46) fine under the Joint Administrative Order No. 2014-01 (Revised Schedule of Fines and Penalties for Violations of Laws, Rules and Regulations governing Land Transportation).

However, there is no provisional reduction of fares for every succeeding 300 meters.

The LTFRB granted the provisional reduction based on the hearings and consultations on the petition filed by Negros Oriental Representative Manuel M. Iway on December 17, 2014, requesting the LTFRB to reduce the flag down fare for taxis from the existing P40 ($0.91) to P30 ($0.68).

A former LTFRB board member, Iway also petitioned to reduce to P2.50 ($0.057) the P3.50 ($0.079) fare for every succeeding 300 meters, for taxi services nationwide.

“While this Board as a regulatory agency, has in mind the interest and concerns of public land transport operators, we need to be more mindful of our primary mandate of serving the interest of the riding public,”  LTFRB Chairman Winston Ginez said.

As this is a provisional reduction, LTFRB board member Ariel Inton explained in an interview on radio station dzBB that the P40-flag down rate would still appear on the taxi meter. Passengers though would only be paying P10 less of their metered fare.

Impact of low oil prices

The Board considered reports and economic analysis of various government agencies in deciding to reduce the flag down rate of taxi services, Ginez added.

Due to the decline in international oil prices last year, the oil industry implemented substantial rollbacks in local oil prices, as highlighted in the assessment made by the Department of Energy (DOE) on January 23, 2015.

For gasoline, the 18 increases vis-à-vis the 25 rollbacks resulted in a net decrease of more than P13.00 ($0.29) per liter of the product.

The 16 increases and 31 decreases in diesel pump prices resulted in a net decrease of about P15.00 ($0.34) per liter.

In the case of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), which most taxis are now using, there was a total net decrease of P15.94 ($0.36) per liter.

In 2015, the decline continued with 3 rollbacks resulting in net decreases of P3.90 ($0.09) liter for gasoline; P3.75 ($0.085) per liter for diesel; and P3.07 ($0.067) per liter for LPG, respectively.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) also favorably endorsed the petition for fare reduction, grounded on the higher impact of fuel prices on the transport sector which has a direct effect on the fares.

In the event, though, that prices of oil increase to a level that transport operators are prejudiced, the LTFRB will review and study the order.

Philippine National Taxi Operators Association (PNTOA) president Bong Suntay said that the P30 ($0.68) flag down rate is unreasonable and that the association will file a motion for reconsideration with the LTFRB.  – Rappler.com

US$1 = P44.10

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