Taxi Operators Seek Dialogue With LTFRB On P50 Flag Down Rate

A group of taxi operators is seeking a dialogue with the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on its proposed PHP50 flag down rate for taxis. 

A fare increase on taxis is necessary in order to cushion the impact of higher excise taxes on oil that will be implemented under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law, according to the Philippine National Taxi Operators Association (PNTOA). 

“We hope to have a dialogue with the LTFRB as soon as possible in order to discuss our proposal and relay our concerns on the TRAIN law,” PNTOA president Bong Suntay said in an interview. 

The group is asking for an additional PHP10 increase from the current PHP40 flag down rate, PHP13.50 for every kilometer of distance traveled and PHP2.50 for waiting time. 

Taxi drivers and operators need to recoup the higher operating costs brought about by the recent series of oil price increases, the group said. 

“The current flag down rate of PHP40 is being imposed since 2010. The rate needs to be adjusted because of the likely impact of the higher fuel excise tax to drivers and operators,” Suntay said. 

Taxi drivers have reduced their trips because of inflationary concerns and competition from ridesharing companies. 

Currently, there are around 42,000 franchised taxi units nationwide, according to PNTOA. 

The LTFRB has said a petition for fare increase must be filed by taxi operators in order for the Board to deliberate on the matter and to hear the side of commuters that would be affected. 

Under the TRAIN law, an initial excise tax of PHP2.50 per liter shall be imposed on diesel this year, which will eventually increase to PHP6 by 2020.

An excise tax of PHP7 will be imposed on gasoline in 2018, gradually increasing to PHP10 in 2020. 

The Department of Energy (DOE) has advised oil companies not to apply the new excise taxes on old stocks of petroleum products, as these are levied on importation and not at the point of sale to consumers. (PNA)

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