Duterte meets taxi operators over ‘boundary’ problems

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

DAVAO City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte gathered the taxi operators on Monday to inform them about the request of some taxi drivers to set a minimum boundary or daily car rental.

But Duterte clarified he is not forcing them to implement it immediately since only the House of Representatives can mandate such through a legislation.

"I think eventually, because of the so many accidents, the Congress might just decide to make them employees," Duterte told the 57 taxi operators at the Grand Men Seng Hotel on Monday afternoon.


"They wanted to have a fixed salary for drivers. This matter is being discussed. But this thing is not really ripe for legislation since it might affect the business of some," he added.

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte meets taxi operators
DAVAO. Taxi operators share light moments while listening to Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte who pleads with them to lower their rental rates, Monday afternoon (March 24, 2014). (King Rodriguez)

High rental rates is among the grievances aired by some taxi drivers in the city, threatening to hold strike if unsolved.

The taxi drivers wanted to lower the rental rates by P100-P140 for weekdays and by P500-P750 on Sundays.

The city mayor vowed to look into it and find justifiable ways to answer their concern.

"Wala tamo ginapugos (I'm not forcing you). I do not have that power. Wait for the Congress to act that these drivers would be considered as employees of taxi companies," he said.

Rosy Tan, operator of RGSM-DSPC taxi, said they have already decreased the rental of their taxis even before the drivers asked for it.

"I conceded first," Tan said in an interview.

The taxi rental of the RGSM-DSPC is P880, she said.

They have a total of 33 units.

Tan explained that other taxi companies opt to have high car rentals since they are paying for other facilities and services like terminals in malls and two-way radio, among others.

"Ang akong ginahimo kung unsa tong wala sa akoa nga equipment, mao to akong inaog na renta (I reduce the rental based on the facility that I don't have)," she said.

Charles Hortaleza, 37, a Krizia taxi driver, said they are amenable with what the mayor told them.

"Basta sakto lang pud ang ihatag nga sahod sa mga drivers (For as long as the salary given to drivers is enough)," he said.

Meanwhile, the 17th City Council recognized the concerns of some drivers and vowed to look into the issue.

"We must in the spirit of providing safe transport and promoting inclusive benefits, listen to their pleas and work within our mandate, to ease to find solutions to their situations," Councilor Leonardo R. Avila III said in his privilege speech Tuesday.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on March 26, 2014.

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