Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago recently proposed a law called the “Taxi Passenger Bill of Rights Act” that aims to protect commuters from abusive taxi drivers and operators.
According to Senate Bill No. 1206, Section 3, taxi passengers in the country shall have the right to:
A. Be picked up and transported to their stated destination by any available on duty taxi driver, subject to applicable traffic regulations;
B. A fare meter duly calibrated and sealed by proper authorities;
C. A properly dressed and courteous driver who provides assistance, if requested;
D. Travel with an assistance dog or portable mobility aid;
E. A taxi that is clean, smoke free, and in good repair;
F. Direct the route, or expect the most economical route;
G. See the taxi meter;
H. Refuse multiple hiring;
I. Have the air conditioning on or off;
J. See the driver’s identification card, which shall state clearly the driver’s name and the taxi operator’s name, place of business, and contract numbers, and shall contain a picture of the driver. Copies of such identification card shall be displayed prominently inside the taxi;
K. See the plate number of the taxi and emergency numbers for assistance by the Philippine National Police prominently displayed on the side doors and other conspicuous places within the taxi;
L. A quiet atmosphere, upon request;
M. Pay the rate exactly as posted in the meter, subject to other government sanctioned fees; and
N. A detailed receipt.
Taxi drivers and operators who violates these rights shall be fined ranging from Php500 up to Php10,000 depending on the frequency of the offense.
“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 standards. By doing so, we would establish better public perception to the taxi service industry in general.” said the Senator on the Bill’s explanatory note.
The Bill was filed on August 1, 2013.