Philippine Daily Inquirer / 02:07 AM February 02, 2014
Reporting unscrupulous cab drivers can now be done easily, online or through your mobile phone. Just remember to include these information:
Taxi’s trade name
Taxi’s plate number
Type of vehicle
Passenger’s contact details (name, e-mail address, mobile number, home address, etc.)
Details of the incident
Passengers can file a complaint against cab drivers who refuse them, exhibit rude or threatening behavior, overcharge, drive recklessly, or whose taxis have no meters, or whose meters are tampered with or defective, etc.
They can go straight to the Land Transportation, Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB):
Report it online through the LTFRB website: www.ltfrb.gov.ph, under the “File A Complaint” heading.
Call the LTFRB hotline 0921-4487777, or its 24/7 hotline 4592129
Send a tweet to @LTFRB_Chairman
Passengers can also log their complaints on the website Taxikick.com, a web application that consolidates reports on abusive taxi drivers. Taxikick will send these reported incidents to the LTFRB.
Taxikick is also a hub where victims of abusive drivers can share their experiences with other passengers. The taxis’ plate numbers are shown, and are easily searchable.
Foiling Felons in a Cab
How to ensure safety when taking taxis
Take note of the cab’s name, plate number, contact details and if possible, the driver’s name. Text these information to a family member or a friend. You can also take a picture of the driver as a cautionary measure or even as future evidence.
Know where you’re going and tell the driver the route you prefer. In case you’re unfamilliar with your destination, arm yourself with a map or specific directions, including landmarks to guide the way.
You may also double check the information written on the taxi cab through the Land Transportation Office’s new SMS vertification system. Text LTO<space>VEHICLE<space>[vehicle plate number] to 2600, and for P2.50, the LTO will send you an automated reply consisting of the vehicle’s model and year of manufacture, color, date last registered and if the vehicle has any record or alarm with the LTO.
Sample text: LTO VEHICLE ABC123
Lock the doors. Sometimes the danger may be coming from the outside and not inside the cab.
Don’t forget to check the doors’ locks. The driver may have put the child-safety lock on or these could have been tampered with and that will stop you from getting out of the cab.
Sit in the back, especially if you’re alone as this limits the driver’s reach.
Be aware of your surroundings and stay awake throughout the ride. Don’t ride a cab at night if you’re drunk. Find a 24-hour restaurant or convenience store where you can drink coffee or eat some snacks to lessen the effects of alcohol in your body.
Always bring smaller bills and spare change so as not to get cheated on the fare.
If you suspect a crime is about to happen, get out while you can.
In case of trouble, stay calm and survey your belongings to check if there is anything you can use as a weapon. Better yet, carry a can of pepper spray, which can be bought in hardware stores or any shop specializing in weapons or protective equipment.
Alert the people around you at the first sign of trouble, by shouting for help or blowing a whistle.
If you believe you are being victimized by the chemical spray MO, wet any piece of cloth with water and cover your nose with it. Use another piece of wet cloth or tissue to wipe down the cab’s interiors; the chemicals used will stick and can thus be used as evidence should you file a case.
Report abusive taxi drivers to the authorities. Inform the public about your experience and warn them about any modus operanda you may have witnessed.
As much as possible, hail taxis from reputable and well-known cab companies or franchises. There are also popular smartphone apps you can use to hail a cab, such as GrabTaxi or MiCab. However, you will be charged extra for the service.