Tupas opposes proposed mark up on taxi fare going to new airport
Iloilo Governor Niel Tupas posed objection to the proposal of the Association of Taxi Operators (ATOP) to charge additional P150.00 for passengers going to the new Iloilo Airport in Cabatuan, Iloilo.
Tupas said, the move is very disadvantageous on the part of the passengers and that it could hurt the province’s tourism industry.
ATOP earlier filed a petition for a "flexible rate and rate adjustment" with the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) seeking for a mark up charge of P150.00 in their trip to the new airport which is about 25 kilometers from the city.
The taxi operators cited that they stand to lose if the current standard rate of P30 flagdown and P2.50 for every succeeding 250 meters will be followed.
The petitioners claimed that there is no guarantee that they could get passengers going back to the city.
In their petition, the group stated that they conducted a test drive and they found out that there is a thirty-minute drive in going to the airport.
Basing on the current standard rate the taxi meter posted P162.70 for the trip.
The taxi operators said that they incur P118.38 in gasoline expenses which means they could only gain P44.32.
If they could not get passengers back to the city then they will incur losses.
ATOP thus asked LTFB for an additional charge of P150.00 to the said rate making a total of P342.70 when one takes a taxi ride from Jaro Plaza to the new Iloilo Airport.
Tupas said if the ATOP's proposal is admitted it will create a very bad impression on Iloilo city and province as a whole.
He said Iloilo would be having the most expensive fare rate in going to the airport if that happens.
"We want to protect our passengers and our tourism industry," the governor said.
Meanwhile, it was learned that lawyer Joseph Vincent Go, operator of Light of Glory taxi, also does not favor the proposal of his colleagues in ATOP.
Go insists the current metering rate should be followed and it will just depend on the passengers if they will give additional pay to the taxi drivers.
LTFRB is still on the process of evaluating the petition of ATOP.
The new Iloilo Airport of international standards located with the boundaries of Sta. Barbara and Cabatuan is set to be inaugurated on June 13, 2007 by no less than Pres. Gloria Arroyo.
Normal airport operations will start the following day June 14.