LTFRB starts recalibrating taxis for fare increase

MANILA, Philippines –  The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has started recalibrating taxi meters to implement the fare hike that also provides for a P2-per-minute travel charge.

Under the new fare scheme, the flag down rate for taxis remains at P40 but the distance rate is now at P13.50 per kilometer, higher than the previous P3.50 for every 300 meters or around P11 per kilometer.

On top of that, taxi operators can now charge a travel duration rate of P2 per minute, to replace the waiting time charge of P3.50 for every two minutes.

The LTFRB started the recalibration of taxi meters on Tuesday, July 31, at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Parañaque City. There are about 21,000 taxi units in Metro Manila.

Only taxis with recalibrated meters can charge higher fares. A taxi meter calibration certification sticker will be placed on the top right corner of the windshield to show that the driver can apply the new fare scheme.

Recalibration comes with a fee of P1,110, which covers the sealing of meters, testing, and administrative matters.

LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra III Delgra warned drivers and operators against charging higher rates without the authoritzation sticker. Violators would be liable for "overcharging," and a fine of P3,000 on the first offense, he said.

Delgra explained that the P2-per-minute travel charge was added to cover time spent in traffic. Taxi operators have long asked the LTFRB to adjust their fares to level competition following the entry of ride-hailing apps such as Grab Philippines.

"Nilagay natin 'yung time rate to serve and cover the congestion. 'Ayun naman ang mga angal ng taxi drivers or taxi operators na dahil sa traffic ng Metro Manila, nalulugi sila," he said in a previous media interview.

(We added the time rate to serve and cover [time spent] on congestion. That is the complaint of taxi drivers or taxi operators, that because of the traffic in Metro Manila, they were losing money.)

The regulatory board also now requires taxi drivers to have a mobile application from an LTFRB-accredited transport network company (TNC). Currently, ride-hailing companies Grab, MiCabHirna, and Hype have services for taxi. (READ: How much are the fares of new ride-hailing apps?)

Apart from that, taxis are now asked to have its own closed-circuit television camera, a dashcam, and a global positioning system. – with reports from Loreben Tuquero/Rappler.com

Loreben Tuquero is a Rappler intern

Aika Rey

Aika Rey covers the Philippine Senate for Rappler. Before writing about politicians, she covered budget, labor, and transportation issues.

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