21 October 2004

Conversations with a Taxi Driver

Taxi fare has increased last week from a flag-down rate of P25.00 to P30.00 and metering charge from P2.00 to P2.50.

Manong is from a local dialect in the northern region of the Philippines which basically means "big brother" but is generally used to address men older than you are.

This is my third time to ride a taxi ever since the fare increased. I basically wanted to know how much it will now cost me to hire one to go to work. So here goes the story.


Me: Manong, this is the third time I have taken a taxi, and so far all of them haven't had their meters adjusted yet.

Manong: There are lots of taxis here in Manila. More than 5,000 of them! The Land Transportation Office is prioritizing the big taxi companies, then us next.

Me: So how do you go about the fare increase?
Manong: Our boss said to wait it out for a few more days. There was an announcement
to have meters issuing receipts installed as well so instead of having to go to LTO twice, we'll just do it one time.

Me: But the receipt thing was announced months ago!

Manong: Yeah I heard there are still some issues about it. But that's our boss' stand.


Manong: You know what? It's the people who are well-off who find it difficult to part with extra cash on top of the metered payment. These people can afford to eat 4 to 5 meals a day and yet they are so stingy with giving tips to taxi drivers.

It's the average person who would usually leave us the change. For example, if the fare is 42 pesos, they give us 50. The rich people will take the change even if it's a measly 5 pesos.

Me: (must be why they're so rich)

Manong: Also the Chinese, Koreans, and the Americans. They will insist on paying the exact fare.

Me: I guess it's their culture.

Manong: You know this increase in fare? It's not really that significant. Only the fact that the value of the peso has really depreciated so much.

Before, the amount we pay for 5 liters of gasoline will now get us a little over 2 liters. That's how much the peso has depreciated.

Me, with forehead creased: Really manong? (I remembered the many times I can't bring my car because I had no money to pay for the gas and parking).

Yup. Look, when the flag-down rate was 25, many people generously give the loose change. Now that the rates are up, do you think people will still let go of the change? Nope. So roughly, things would still be the same in terms of the amount of money the driver makes.

However, the money that the driver brings home is now lesser. If he brings 700 pesos before, now he only has 400 pesos or lower. Why? Because it goes to gasoline and boundary ('quota' you give to the taxi owner).


And that, is the sad state of mathematics in the taxi industry.


  1. Ang CHEAPPPPPPP !!!! As in super cheap taxi fare diyan. Pag-umuwi ako (kung kelan man yun baka pagputi pa nang uwak), naku, taxi to the max gagawin ko, unless pahiram mo sa akin car mo (hehehhe). Super lucky ninyo kase dito Taxi ko from Home to Melbourne Airport, cost me P4000, ganoon siya kamahal, puwede ko nang gamitin yun na pambayad sa fare papunta sa Sydney, or Goldcoast one way.

  2. Cheap din po sweldo namin kaya tama lang hehehe

  3. actually the tip is depende sa attitude ng mga taxi drivers. like me for example if i like the driver i give a generous tip especially if it's really traffic. the other drivers kasi nagkokontrata agad, or ang dami reklamo the moment you get in the taxi which is really irritating. i usually take the yellow group of taxi (the R&E, EFE etc), or the red (Dollar), green (MGE) the drivers are mabait and safer pa.

  4. Ingglisero pala ang driver ng cab na nasakyan mo. Sossy! NYahahahahaha!

  5. Hi Amie! Thanks for mentioning reputable taxis. Magandang tip ito for our fellowmen (and women hehehe).

    Fionskiiii!!! mwehehehehe! Medyo ininggles ko na para maintindihan ng mga hapon! mwehehehehe

  6. Well...amie is right it depends entirely on the attitude of the taxi driver taxi driver ;)

    I take a cab from Ayala everyday, and everyday I get so darn lucky to be rejected because they don't want to travel the busiest street in Makati...so they prefer to go to the fort...So if the theres a heaven sent cab and agreed to go to Dela Costa, I often give them a flat rate of Php 60 eventhough my taxifare is only 35 :)

    And thats the reason why, at the end of the day I only have 50 bucks left good enough to back to Alabang :)

  7. Fisherpau, I will ride with you instead so I can save up on taxi fares from Glorietta to the office! hehehe

  8. sabi nga nila, kaya wala tayong magaling na mga ekonomista dahil sila ay busy-ing magdrive ng taxi o kaya ay maggupit ng buhok sa barberya.


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