House approves taxi passenger rights bill on 2nd reading

MANILA The House of Representatives on Wednesday approved on second reading a bill establishing the rights of passengers of taxis, tourist car transport service (TCTS), and other similar vehicles for hire.

The Lower House approved, via voice vote, House Bill No. 7774, otherwise known as the "Bill of Rights of Taxi, Tourist Car Transport Service and Vehicle for Hire Passengers".

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:

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

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;

the 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;

the 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

the 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