Taxi passenger rights bill OK’d on final reading

MANILAThe House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading a bill establishing the rights of passengers of taxis, tourist car transport service (TCTS), and other similar vehicles for hire.

The Lower House passed on Monday House Bill 7774, otherwise known as the "Bill of Rights of Taxi, Tourist Car Transport Service and Vehicle for Hire Passengers" with 212 affirmative votes, zero negative vote and no abstention.

Under the bill, a passenger shall have the right to be served by a driver who is properly dressed. Taxi and TCTS operators should ensure that their drivers wear the prescribed uniform and company identification (ID) card at all times while on duty.

The bill also enumerates the following rights of a passenger:

right to a courteous driver, who is not under the influence of alcohol or dangerous drugs;

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;

right to direct the route, or expect the most economical route, unless such route would endanger the lives of the occupants or will cause damage to the covered vehicle;

right to pay the fare exactly as posted in the meter or booking application, receive the exact amount of change, and be issued a printed, electronic or digital official receipt; and

right to a quiet or silent atmosphere throughout the trip upon request, and decide on the orientation of air conditioning and lighting systems inside the covered vehicle.

The bill also seeks to penalize taxi drivers who violate the provisions of the proposed law with a PHP1,000 fine and suspension of the driver's license for seven days for the first offense; PHP3,000 and suspension of license for six months for second offense; and PHP5,000 and suspension of license for one year for third offense. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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