But given the large crowds, traffic jams, bad roads and difficulty in getting a ride, I am sure many people are finding it hard to feel really merry.
Not having a car, I find getting around this time of year as difficult as it is for most people. It’s because taxi drivers—despite warnings from the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB)—continue to do a disservice to passengers.
I stood in line for more than an hour last week at the taxi stand in front of Landmark Department Store at Glorietta in Makati City. The situation was the same in the other taxi stands around the area. Although many cabs were stuck in traffic and were slow in getting to the place, there were several empty ones that simply gave the waiting areas a wide berth.
The drivers deliberately looked the other way or sped up when they passed the long queues. I think they knew they could not refuse any passenger if they went to the taxi stand, especially with Makati’s yellow-shirted traffic aides helping keep things orderly.
It was the same a few days before when I was at the Shangri-La Plaza mall in Mandaluyong City.
I think the LTFRB can really help commuters if, instead of merely asking people to report drivers who are isnabero or choosy, it would require staff to be visible in commercial centers and malls this time of year to ensure that taxi drivers are doing what they are supposed to do—conveying passengers to their destinations and getting paid only the amount registered in the meter, unless the passengers decide they deserve a tip.
I don’t think any of those people standing in line at the taxi stands in Glorietta managed or even bothered to list down the plate numbers of the cabs that ignored them and file reports to the LTFRB.
Besides, it would probably have taken at least two sheets of paper to list down all the plate numbers. Some cabs even kept going around Glorietta, the drivers probably hoping they would find somebody who would be willing to pay a higher fare for the “privilege and honor” of getting in their vehicles.
If the LTFRB wants to make its campaign against isnabero drivers really effective, it should not simply wait for people to report erring drivers. It should be out there catching these drivers and imposing on them the penalty they deserve. That will be true public service.
In a previous column, I advised readers to have their tape receipts photocopied if they had to keep them for some other purposes, like tax payments, warranty. I should have kept reminding myself that. Last week, I tried to claim a reward from Jollibee for P20,000 worth of purchases at the BPI Express Card Installment Madness Fair.
The receipt was not even a month old, but almost everything written on it was gone. It was just in my purse all this time because I did not know when I would get the chance to go to Jollibee. When I finally did go, only a few letters on the receipt were legible. To compound the problem, I did not bring the other official receipt from the appliance store that issued it.
While tape receipts are accepted as official proofs of purchase, whatever information is contained in them vanishes in no time. I think the problem is with the thermal paper used. So, if you are keeping those receipts to use later, have them photocopied immediately before you are left with nothing more than a small scrap of blank paper. Or, better yet, ask for another kind of official receipt. Most establishments can issue another receipt aside from the tape receipts.
Send letters to The Consumer, Lifestyle Section, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 1098 Chino Roces Ave. cor. Mascardo and Yague Sts., 1204 Makati City; fax 8974793/94; or e-mail [email protected]