Friday, September 04, 2009

Yellow Taxi / Yellow Cab in Cebu

This connects to our air travels...

I saw them two weeks ago, I saw one this afternoon! Yes friends, they’re already on! Are you happy? Well, am I happy? Truth is, I don’t give a hoot hehe!

What are they really? If you have not been a frequent user of the three Air Terminals in Metro Manila, then you are probably not very much aware on what those are. To summarize, those yellow cabs are just the very same kind of service – taxi. Only, they are more expensive at P70 flag down and something like four pesos or so every time the meter clicks – ah that click is purportedly every two hundred meters, say the authorities.

The body colors, meters and flag rates are the same from any of the NAIA terminals to anywhere in Metro Manila as it is now from MCIA to anywhere in Metro Cebu. In general (if not specifically) it is the same taxi service but twice the rates of the regular taxi cabs.

Why the presence of another “class” of cabs on city streets from and/or to the airport? Beats my confused brain!

Authorities say in the news that this will avoid the unscrupulous taxi drivers who charge passengers high flat rates instead of using their meters. Highlighted here are the receipt-issuing meters of those yellow taxis that are not (yet) present in the other-colored taxis (mostly white). The drivers are supposedly trained by the DOT on being more passenger-friendly or tourist-friendly.

My thoughts:
For them to field the yellow cabs, are there a lot of those unscrupulous taxi drivers operating at the MCIA? Where are the statistics? If so, why are they not being apprehended? So the authorities are indirectly telling us that it is okay for you the passenger/tourist to be taken-advantage-of by taxi drivers as long as you do not emanate from the MCIA?

By my very rough count, I have used taxis about 87 times from MCIA, 6 from the sea ports, and countless from the north and bus terminals since April 2009 to today (September 4). In all those cases, I only had one slightly ugly and another irritatingly ugly experience. The first one: once on board the cab from MCIA, driver politely asked if he could ask for an extra P20 on top of the meter reading as he had been waiting idle for too long in line at the MCIA and he was about to end his duty at 10PM shortly after sending me to my destination. I did not reply, but on arrival, I gave him exactly P150. Oh, it costs me usually P120 or therearounds from/to the airport and my new home in Banilad. The second incidence: on a delayed and late-night arrival from MNL, the guard (yes, THE GUARD at MCIA in charge of giving those little sheets of paper where he writes the taxi number) was the very person trying to ram me and three other passengers in one cab even if none of us were traveling together. In a decidedly loud voice, I opposed this caper half-shouting my reasons to the guard. He reasoned that he was just trying to help. I shouted that I heard him and the taxi driver that we will all be charged P100 each and that it was unfair since one was just going to Lapulapu (near the foot of the bridge), another was going to near SM, while another was going to Mango Ave. Hindsight, I now ask myself… would I have been the 3rd or last passenger to be delivered by the damn driver to Banilad? Anyway, on top of my voice, I demanded that said cab leave the place without any passenger or I will call the cops. I prevailed.

With the above sorry and ugly stories, I still insist there are NOT a lot of unscrupulous cab drivers in Cebu as there are in Metro Manila. In fact, I have a very strong feeling that the few asshole cab drivers in Metro Cebu ALL have had a stint at being cab drivers in Metro Manila. I am ready to bet on that inference! Any takers?!

Take this: in one of my flights, I left home rather too late and was really rushing lest the very strict Cebu Pacific check-in agents close their counters on me. On arrival at MCIA, I tossed P150 to the driver, grabbed my weekend pack and ran for it! As I struggled at the queue by the x-ray area, there came the taxi driver accompanied by a policeman trying to give me my change of thirty or so pesos. Half laughing, I exclaimed “imo na na dong”! And I said sorry I did not make it clear when I alighted!

The white cabs seem to be fine with me whom I consider one of the hardest to please passengers!

So, the yellow cabs, I think, are not the solution if anyone is trying to eradicate the “pakyaw” matter in Cebu. There is still the wisdom of EDUCATION that can be done to the existing taxi drivers. And nobody please tell me that yellow cab drivers are of better caliber than white cab drivers – unless you tell me they are college graduates. Asus! Some of these white cab drivers are even civil engineers or marine captains who have just come home from their foreign assignments! And granting yellow cab drivers are college graduates and well-trained by the DOT, what the hell do you tell me if I am ‘taken advantage of’ by a white-taxi-driver? Will you say “sorry we can’t help you since you did not take the yellow taxi”? Will you say that? Hello?!

I also think there are already too many taxi cabs (makes me happy though) in Metro Cebu, that adding those yellow cabs will only all the more congest Mandaue Hiway and all other busy streets.

Let’s titillate everyone’s minds… in Manila the yellow cabs are operated by a conglomeration of about 9 or so DIFFERENT transport companies. Who are they? Well, taxi operators themselves who either operate the existing “airport coupon taxis” AND/OR operating the very white or other colored taxis that ply the streets! So, is that trying to tell us their companies maintain two standards amongst their taxi drivers – meaning if you’re a yellow cab driver you are maginoo and if you’re a white or any other colored cab driver you are permitted to be barumbado? Ganun?! BTW, you will know yellow cab identities by reading those things written on the sides of the yellow cabs like Sun Transport etc.

Now bring the topic to Cebu… the yellow cabs are also a conglomeration of vehicles pitched-in by the members of the MCTOA or Metro Cebu Taxi Operators Association. They are the ones who actually own all the white taxis you see on the streets! Tell me please… ang suha ba mamumunga ng durian? Ha?!

Bottomline: these yellow cabs are not really meant to help tourists and the general traveling public. It is just a means to earn more at double the usual rates.

We the “innocent” air-traveling public were not considered by these bright minds who operate the yellow cabs. For many of us locals and tourists, COST is still the basis for every move that we do. So we will most likely still take the white cabs, right?! Sometimes, there are a few hitches that can be resolved anyway, right? (oi, kung naa’y mubalibad ani she’s probably just another internet-bride nga nagtoo datuan na kayu siya kay iyang anab is foreigner ug naa na sya imaginary riches so okay ra niya ang yellow cab prices! Sus!)

Therefore, does that mean now that the Mayors of Metro Cebu and even the Governor will just shun us if we ever had a problem with white taxis because we did not take the yellow cabs trained by the DOT? Being the fathers and mothers of their respective LGU’s, that means they were part of the conception of these yellow cabs?! Why the selective training by DOT “for yellow cabs” anyway? Its coming out they have an intent to retain asshole white-cab drivers (if any) by training only those who drive yellow!

Dodong Ace… is this your way of making a beautiful tourist-friendly Philippines? Gosh!

DID YOU KNOW? In Metro Manila at least, these “uniformed” yellow cab drivers (some of them stink just the same) are all too proud about their “higher” status and when you engage them, they are just as talkative as their white-driving counterparts. Thus I learned that they are very confident their business of yellow cabs will be “forever” since the investors behind this caper are (they have a litany) the likes of FG Mike Arroyo, Manny Pacquiao, Gringo Honasan, FVR, etc, etc, etc. Ah, I don’t have time to validate those but the drivers are so talkatively proud harping about those! How about in Cebu? Do we have “personalities” in-charge of the different slices of the yellow cabs?

Oh well… I still trust the white cabs KEN, Holiday, Shurie, Airland/Scorpion who are all just a call away wherever I am in Cebu. And so do I trust R&E/EMP/MGE/Sturdy/Seven Stars, Basic, 24/7, ABC, etc that frequently use back home in QC.

Whadya think?


Pinoy Traveler said...

Rejoinder: Oh no I have to take back if I said "I don't give a hoot"! Arrived this afternoon at MCIA and walked (as usual) up to where the cabs line up to get passengers!

Voila, 1) there is an additional sign that displays the flag and meter rates of the yellow cabs, 2) instead of the usual guard (and a janitor?) there is a man in yellow who "assists" passengers to ride taxis... and 3) yes, the man in yellow is an employee of the yellow cabs and 4) he drives away the white cabs telling them they may not line up anymore.

Now that affects me and other fellow passengers. There was chaos with passengers riding and later emerging out of those yellow cabs. There was chaos with some passengers running to the right beyond the queue area where some white cabs wait. There was chaos with passengers running to the left (front of departure area) where some white cabs wait.

I was fortunate a KEN Taxi entered the queue area despite the protestations of the yellow man - and since I was there smoking and watching the commotion, I rode in! Yey! But next time, where will I go to get a white cab?

In the news, I remember the MCIAA Manager said he had nothing to do with this yellow cab thing. So now he does not also want to have to do with the chaos that's happening at the taxi area?

The owners of this yellow cab business must be very influential. They already have a queue down at the arrival area and they also started to monopolize the departure area. Hmm, and the manager will not have anything to do with it?

Lastly, am almost sure the white cab owners will not protest that since I suspect they are part owners of those yellow cabs.

Why can't they just phase all the white cabs in the whole of cebu so that then... we don't have a choice! Argh!

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