Philippine lawmakers are considering a bill that would penalise taxi drivers who refuse to accept fares because of heavy traffic.
House bill 7774 was approved on its second reading at the House of Representatives today (Wednesday, September 12).
The law will establish the rights of passengers of taxis, tourist car transport services and other vehicles for hire.
Letter E, Section 5 of the measure states that passengers have the right to be picked up and transported to their stated destination “regardless of the length of the journey or traffic condition by any available on duty driver. No driver shall, after having been flagged down or engaged, refuse to transport any passenger.”
Drivers who break the new rule would face fines of up to 5,000 pesos, and repeat offenders could have their driver’s licence suspended for up to one year.
Vehicle operators would also be subjected to a fine ranging from 5,000 to 15,000 pesos.
HB 7774 still has to pass through a third and final reading at the House of Representatives. The Senate version remains pending at the committee level.
Other proposed passenger rights include:
- Be served by a driver who is properly dressed
- Be served by a “courteous driver” who shall provide assistance, if requested
- Be informed of the plate number of the vehicle and have emergency numbers of the Philippine National Police and concerned agencies prominently displayed on the vehicle’s side door or other conspicuous place in the vehicle
- Direct the route or expect the “most economical” route to his or her destination
- View the fare meter that shall be duly calibrated and sealed by the authorities
- Pay the rate or fare exactly posted in the meter or booking application
- Be given the exact amount of change
- Be issued a printed, electronic, or digital official receipt
- Travel with an animal assistant or portable mobility aid, if applicable
- Refuse multiple hiring especially for taxis, unless passengers are informed of and consented to such an arrangement
- A quiet or silent atmosphere throughout the trip, upon request
- Decide on the orientation of the air conditioning and lighting systems inside the vehicle
- Be provided with a substitute vehicle or be assisted to secure one in case of mechanical or engine trouble. If this is not possible, the passenger shall only pay the amount appearing in the meter less the flag-down or booking fee for meter-oriented fare vehicles.
These rights would have to be prominently displayed inside any vehicle if the bill eventually becomes law.
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