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City cracks down on abusive taxi drivers

AUTHORITIES are taking action to address passenger complaints against abusive taxi drivers, including a recent incident involving a midwife who was allegedly taken on a longer route to her destination.

In an interview on Sunday, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) XI regional director Nonito Llanos III clarified that their powers are limited to penalizing the taxi operator. 

So, the agency is pushing for the deputization by the Land Transportation Office to enable them to penalize drivers directly for abusive behavior and meter tampering.

On May 3, 2024, key transport officials and stakeholders convened at the Davao City Recreation Center for the “Presentation of Taxi Guidelines Servicing at Davao International Airport.”

Engr. Rex Obcena, the CAAP airport manager, stressed the importance of reflecting the city’s positive image, especially its brand, “Davao, Life is Here,” through public transportation services.

However, he is optimistic that the negative incidents involving a minority of operators would not tarnish the overall reputation of Davao’s transport sector. 

Following suit, Land Transportation Office XI director Eleanor S. Calderon emphasized a paradigm shift in the agency’s role—from enforcing to educating.

She advocated for comprehensive driver’s education and stringent monitoring of drivers by operators, outlining a demerit point system designed to reorient and, if necessary, penalize erring drivers to foster a culture of discipline and safety.

The program proceeded with insights from Llanos, who implored operators to steward their certificate of public convenience (CPC) with care, likening it to borrowed power that must be used responsibly. 

He echoed the famous quote, “With great power comes great responsibility,” and emphasized the LTFRB’s open-door policy, calling for cooperation to maintain a standard of comfortable, affordable, safe, sustainable, and accessible (CASSA) service. 

Also, City Traffic and Transport Management Office chief Dionisio C. Abude read Mayor Sebastian Baste’s message, underscoring the city’s commitment to disciplined transportation services. He reminded the taxi drivers and operators of the importance of a safe riding public. He also presented several programs, including the driver information management system (DIMS), city apprehension management system (CAMS), and incentives for violation-free renewals.

The session rounded off with Angel B. Sumagaysay, chief of the Public Safety and Security Office, and  Rommel E. Chaonui highlighting security measures and operational protocols to ensure a seamless and secure experience for all airport users.

Ryan Sia, Regional Transport Operators Association president, concluded the event by thanking the inter-agency support and inviting all taxi operators to become part of their group to promote unity and collaboration within the industry.


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