TAXI drivers in Cagayan de Oro have banded together to ask the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to implement a moratorium on the granting of more franchises to taxi operators. Cagayan de Oro Taxi Drivers and Operators Association (CDOTADO) chairman Allan Gamba said there are already 1,399 taxi units plying in the city with franchises to travel all over Northern Mindanao.

Gamba described the figure as too many already vis-à-vis the number of riding public in the city.

And the taxi drivers’ group has found an ally in Cagayan de Oro 2nd District Rep. Rufus Rodriguez.

During the turnover of a livelihood program to CDOTADO yesterday, Rodriguez vowed to Gamba and the rest of the taxi drivers that he would bring the matter before the LTFRB. Rodriguez described the taxi-passenger ratio in Cagayan de Oro as a “ruinous” competition.

The congressman theorized that this may be the reason why certain taxi drivers resort to overcharging their passengers. Per Department of Transportation and Communications regulations, a taxi driver who overcharges his passenger may be penalized P250 plus two months suspension of driver’s licenses.

“Kami tanan gaapas gud sa amo boundary (daily fixed remittance to operator). Unya daghan kaayo mi nga gabiyahe mao nga lugi g’yud mi usahay. Kompetensiya pa g’yud namo ang mga jeep,” Gamba said. Gamba proposed that the moratorium on new taxi franchises be extended up to two years.

Rodriguez added that there is no reason to grant new franchises until such time that the population of Cagayan de Oro increases. Rodriguez suggested that a public hearing be first conducted on the matter before it is decided upon. The congressman said LTFRB must invite CDOTADO and all relevant entities in both the public and private sectors to the public hearing. Yesterday, Rodriguez turned over a computer unit to CDOTADO, aside from P100,000 worth of livelihood program.

article by Mark Francisco of GSD

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