Press Release
October 12, 2013


Alarmed with the "horror stories" from taxi passengers circulating in social media, Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago filed Senate Bill No. 1206, or the "Taxi Passenger Bill of Rights". (Please see this link!.pdf for a copy of the bill.)

Santiago's bill seeks to uphold and protect the rights of taxi passengers and penalizes both driver and the operator of the taxi cab who violate these rights.

"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.

The senator underscored the role of taxis in everyday public transportation, as well as in the tourism industry as a preferred mode of travel by tourists.

"We need to enact a law to protect our commuting public, citizens and tourists alike, from predatory practices of some taxi drivers and operators and raise the service standard. By doing so, we would establish better public perception of the taxi service industry in general," Santiago said.

The bill gives taxi passengers rights, such as a taxi that is clean, smoke free, and in good repair; a courteous and helpful driver; and the right to direct the route, or expect from the driver the most economical route.

The bill also requires taxi drivers and operators to prominently display the driver's identification card, with the driver's and operator's name, contact details, and ID picture. First-time violators under the proposed law will be fined up to Php 2,000, up to Php 5,000 for their second offense, and up to Php 10,000 for third and succeeding violations, including suspension of driver's license.

Displaying the Taxi Passenger's Bill of Rights inside the taxi will also be required, including information on how to report violations and file a complaint to the Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB). Failure to do so puts a fine up to Php 3,000 under Santiago's proposed law.

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