Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and tourists traveling to the Philippines need to be aware of various modus operandi by unscrupulous taxi drivers. For everyone’s safety, the Philippine National Police has issued guidelines when hailing and riding a local cab in the country.
- Do not enter a taxi if it has another passenger. This may not be another passenger, but the driver’s cohort who may be engaged in criminal activity.
- When inside the taxi, ensure that door can be locked from the inside and inside doors are functional.
- Ride the back seat or make sure to check there are no hidden objects under the floor carpet or between the seats.
- Request driver to use meter to calculate fare. It is illegal to use fixed rate instead of fare meter. Request is best done before entering taxi.
- Take a photo of license plate number and send to a close friend or family member during travel.
- Conspicuously show to driver that you are keeping a note of the plate number or sending it via SMS while you are within a safe location. If taxi driver looks displeased, at least there is time to back out and hail another one.
“Batingting” taxis are those cabs that are equipped with faulty taxi meter running twice as fast as normal, legitimate taxi meters. There are tell-tale signs passengers can detect such type of rogue taxi meters.
- Meter seal is tampered or missing.
- Taxi meter only displays fare and not distance traveled or waiting time.
- Taxi name, plate number or operator name and contact number erased at taxi interior.
- Driver seems to be clicking a switch not visible to the passenger.
- They travel on minimum speeds even on high-speed lanes because stepping on the gas makes meters run incredibly faster which will alert the passenger.
General Tips for Taxi Passengers
If in case you happen to be in such situation, here are additional guides:
- Always take note of taxi name, operator, vehicle plate number and contact phone numbers. Make a mental note of the driver’s name and face and notify close relatives or close friends by phone.
- Ask driver to use the meter at the beginning of the trip. If they say meter is not working, just skip the taxi ride and find another one.
- Get a companion to travel especially on a late night taxi ride.
- Always take note of the movement of the meter. If it moves too fast, tell the driver to stop and get off the taxi.
- Report defective taxi meters to Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) by sending SMS message including taxi name and plate number to 0921-4487777 or call 426-2515.