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ROUGH CUTS | Some things have to be considered

Some days back we heard Davao City Mayor Baste Duterte warning taxi drivers demanding fixed contract amount of fare to passengers, especially those arriving at the Davao International Airport.
According to the mayor he has already issued earlier a “soft” warning to these erring drivers. But still he keeps on hearing complaints from passengers. Now he has to issue a stern one so that these drivers of taxi cabs will stop from their violation of the normal process which is to use the meter of their driven unit while conducting passengers.

If not, the mayor was quoted as saying, mag-ila-ila mo sa akong bahi,” referring to a stick used by the police or by anyone in whacking a person or animal as punishment.

Actually we have no question with the mayor’s warning. That is, if the driver demanding a contracted fixed amount as fare does it on passengers wanting to be ferried within the downtown area or in its immediate perimeter,

But we believe that there has to have certain instances that a fixed contracted amount has to be arranged between the cab driver and the passenger/s. Say for example the passenger or passengers want to be taken to destination as far as Marilog, in some distant rural barangays in the city, or in neighboring provinces or cities.

We think it is unfair to stick to the use of the taxi meter when the chances of being able to pick up a passenger or two on the driver’s way back to down are nil.

Thus, a sober arrangement has to be worked out so the driver can still earn something out of his distant travel. Primary considerations in agreeing of a contract price of conducting the passenger to his or her destination are travel time and convenience compared to taking public utility jeep, bus or van.

While it is true that most, if not all taxi cab franchises cover a whole wide range, no driver will agree to the normal process using the meter where doing so is clearly a losing proposition. The passenger should also look into that aspect in the driver’s day-to-day effort of finding a living for his family.

If the passenger does not agree with the demanded amount then he/she has the freedom to look for another cab or just simply ask the driver to take him/her to the nearest van or bus terminal where he or she could find the most affordable transportation fare to his/her final destination.

After all, there is such a thing as “freedom of enterprise and how to conduct one.” Hence, threat of whacking a driver for what the latter thinks is a fairer way of conducting his enterprise could be a violation of his right and abridgement of his freedom.


The headline of this paper yesterday was the killing of an engineer right at the vicinity of his house at DECCA subdivision in Tugbok district.

According to the report the victim had just had her family alighted from his vehicle and he was reportedly maneuvering his unit for parking at the designated area in his house compound when two men wearing mask appeared and shot him while still at the driver’s seat.

Witnesses told the police that the two assailants immediately escaped on board a motorcycle.
As of this writing the police investigators have just started looking for leads that could possibly establish the motives of the killing and hopefully the identities and eventual arrest of the suspects – which for now, is a long shot.

May be it is now the most opportune time for Mayor Baste to focus his time and efforts in putting a brake on the accelerating cases of crimes in the city other than the resurging illegal drugs business.
People with criminal intentions and the drug merchants are already callous of warnings. The authorities have to be pro-active in their drive against criminality.
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