MANILA, Philippines- President apparent Rodrigo Duterte has issued a warning to cab drivers who refuse to give exact change to passengers.
During a televised press conference in Davao City on Monday, May 16, Duterte said such act is considered “extortion or illegal exaction”.
He explained: “Yung mga taxi both dito sa Davao pati sa Maynila, alam mo pag kinuha mo pera ng tao dahil wala kang sinsilyo (coins or change) at di mo binalik, that is estafa.”
(To taxi drivers here in Davao and even in Manila, be aware that if you get money from people because you don’t have change and you didn’t return it, that is estafa.)
“It is not your money and you go away with it,” Duterte added.
The outspoken mayor of Davao City urged taxi companies to provide drivers with loose change at the start of the day. On the other hand, Duterte encouraged commuters to “try to figure out the amount that you would have to pay to reach your destination.”
Saying that drivers who don’t have loose change should not go out to work, he advised drivers to go to a nearby store to have their bills converted to smaller denominations or coins.
In January this year, the transportation committee of the House of Representatives’ aprroved a bill that will protect passengers from opportunistic and dishonest taxi drivers.
Under the said bill, passengers should receive the exact amount of change. It also gives passengers the right to be brought to their destination regardless of the traffic conditions and length of travel.
Passengers will also be given the right to direct the route and expect the driver to suggest the cheapest way possible to the destination.
Moreover, fares to be paid will be based on the meter.