New Manila Airport Taxi Gimmick

My team and I had spent 26 hours in Cebu this weekend. Upon return to Manila, we opted to ride the yellow airport taxi and here are our observations (complaint later):

A colleague had Airport Taxi with Plate Number TYT611 (as indicated in the receipt below). He was charged PHP310 from NAIA Terminal 2 to LRT Buendia, where the provincial bus stations are. Scrutinizing the receipt, you will notice that the total distance indicate 17.533 kilometers. How can it happen?! From NAIA Terminal 2 to LRT Buendia, it is just 7.7 kilometers. The entire stretch of the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) from Magallanes to the Alabang Viaduct is just 14 kilometers! We smell something fishy here …

Taxi Fare 2

Now my cab ride … TYT283.

Taxi Fare 1

A few meters out of the airport, the cabbie turned on the taxi meter. To my surprise, I could not see the running amount, only some numbers — not sure if they refer to distance or time we had traveled. I asked the cabbie why is that so, he said that it (the taxi meter) was altered that way to make sure that the receipt printer will work. I do not think I was charged over the usual price by the cabbie, but I rather find it unusual that he has a meter like that — no amount on screen; you will only know how much you will pay when we prints the receipt. Obviously, a cover was installed (black strip) in front of the LED lights to reflect the running amount. Poor passengers, you will not have any idea on how much you will need to pay the cabbie not until he makes a printout from the taxi meter.

2014-03-02 17.34.36 HDR

Dear MIAA General Manager Honrado, appreciate if you can shed light on these matters. Thank you and more power!

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15 comments
  1. Had the same issue sir, I arrived from Cebu last September and it was 12MN-1AM. Our plane landed on Terminal 3. As a regular passenger of Cebu Pacific, I knew the drill when I arrive and no one will pick me up in the airport, which is I will go to the Departure area and get a cab from the drop off point. I saw few cabs waiting for (a possible victim) a passenger, then I rode one from that pool. Before we go to our destination, he keeps on telling me that it is will 50 pesos per drop (same screen as you do). Not on my usual self being tired and sleepy, I just ignored what he is saying. When we reach San Andres area, I started computing my fare, and ended up having 1.5k being displayed on my calculator, so. I called the attention of the cab driver and asked him to direct me to the local police station in Vito Cruz area, but the drive got furious. Calmly I did was called 117 and seek an assistance. Ended up, going off the cab in. Vito. Cruz. I really wanted to call the attention of LTFRB about the incident however our grievance system sucks, which was what the police officer wants me to do that time.

    Just sharing. Lol

  2. I encounter this thing also, but that was i think a “White Taxi” on which they base their Charge on they so-called tariff….. The distance was from domestic Airport (Terminal 3) to NAIA Terminal 1 (international departure).. end up paying Php1000.????

    It was very frustrating and sad that no officials (airport/government) of have given any attention on this matter.. (probably they are “very busy” with other stuff)…

    I’ve been to other tourist/s destination countries in Asia and to think “NATAGA'” ako sa sarili kong bansa…..

    :(

  3. Same experience here. I took a yellow cab from edsa near the flyover to airport, i knew it would be more expensive but didn’t think it would be 3 times my expected cost. the meter was running really fast and so i asked if that is the amount i need to pay, the driver said no. So i was relieved. But my fare was even way more than the flashed amount. Got the receipt and i think the distance was also not right. I was furious but did not do anything about it. Stupid me. But yeah, i think
    LTFRB should do something about this.

  4. HOPE THIS KIND OF ISSUES WILL BE SORTED OUT INSTEAD OF THINGS THAT ARE CONSIDERED A QUACK.

    I encounter this incident mos of the time (being an OFW),but how can you complain for these tactics (you’ll just think twice before considering the troubles it might bring.. worst scenario was the cost of your life for just this stupid and cunning means to earn). . It was i think a “White Taxi” on which they base their Charge on they so-called tariff….. The distance was from domestic Airport (Terminal 3) to NAIA Terminal 1 (international departure).. end up paying Php1000.???? and vice versa for my domestic flight, not less than Php 500….

    It was very frustrating and sad that no officials (airport/government) of have given any attention on this matter.. (probably they are “very busy” with other stuff)…

    I’ve been to other countries in Asia and to think “NATAGA'” ako sa sarili kong bansa…..

    :(

  5. i had two observations regarding taxis coming from any naia terminals. me and my gf took resorts world manila shuttle at terminal 3 since we arrived there from hong kong flying on cebu pacific. upon arrival at resorts world manila lobby, signed up for card membership and it came very handy. before forgetting anything else, she had resorts world manila card membership so she can avail their services including shuttles to/fr airport plus to other locations in metro manila. so going back to the story, from outside the resorts world manila complex, we showed our card membership then got dropped off at taft/buendia provincial bus terminals. only expense we end up paying is on the bus going to batangas by taking lucena bound route is just under P200.
    taxis are only useful when going to the airport when getting off from the points south at magallanes, only cost P100 to terminal 1 and P78 to manila domestic. on going to terminal 3, you’ll save more money if taking jeep heading to baclaran, mrt/lrt in edsa.
    then after arriving from cebu, we again avoided taking a taxi, by flagging a jeep heading to baclaran mrt/lrt from a gas station near manila domestic airport, then took another jeep at taft/edsa any jeep that are going to manila, got off at taft/buendia for provincial bus terminal. total fare we paid on that route is under P100. at taft/buendia, took the lucena bound bus again to our final destination said above.
    in another ocassion too, my tita picked me up at terminal 1 heading to her house near manila/quezon city border near espana, e rod & quezon ave, she end up paying P1,500. that time of the day was in afternoon rush hour.

  6. It happened to me also around 1 year ago, when we came back from Boracay. It’s the same — black electrical tape wrapped over the distance indicator. Luckily, I took out my phone and computed the distance from the terminal to our residence — only 8 kilometers while the receipt shows 20+km!

    What I did to force to pay the exact amount is to make a stop over in front of baranggay hall, and did some arguments to the taxt driver. Google Maps won’t lie. Needless to say, I paid only P180 for that P400+ ride, and called the airport police about this.

    It seems this modus operande is not yet resolved. Hay.

  7. As a frequent local travel, this kind of modus has happened to me so many times. From the airport to our place in Marikina I only pay no more than P500 to a yellow taxi cab from NAIA3.
    Here are some more methods:

    1. If you have many bags, be vigilant. They will drop the bombshell on you the moment you leave the taxi queue. As soon as you leave the airport premises, they will ask you to pay a fixed amount. If you are not familiar with these drivers, they will force you to take it. You’ll have second thoughts because you have so many bags and it will be difficult to get off and get a new taxi. WHAT TO DO: THE MOMENT THE DRIVER ASKS FOR A FIXED AMOUNT, DEMAND TO GET OFF. IF YOU ARE STILL INSIDE THE AIRPORT DRIVEWAY, DEMAND TO PULL OVER AND GET OFF. IT WILL BE DIFFICULT FOR THEM TO TURN BACK AS WELL AND SHOW UP AT THE SAME LINE AT THE AIRPORT WITHOUT GETTING QUESTIONED BY THE AIRPORT TAXI DISPATCHER.

    2. Some taxi drivers judge you by your dialect. If they hear you speaking another Filipino dialect (other than Tagalog), they will assume you are not from Manila. When you are already far from the airport, a person will call the taxi driver from his two-way radio. The voice on the other end will ask the driver where he is heading. The driver will respond and a few seconds later the other person will announce on the radio that “xxx area is P2,500” since it’s already outside their route (which is a hoax). The driver will then relay to the passenger, “sir / madam, P2,500 tayo sabi ng dispatcher”. WHAT TO DO: SHOW THE DRIVER THAT YOU ARE ANGRY AS HELL AND THAT YOU WILL ONLY PAY WHAT’S ON THE TAXI METER. IF HE INSISTS, ASK HIM TO BRING YOU TO THE NEAREST POLICE STATION. IF YOU CAN GET THERE, CHARGE HIM FOR EXTORTION.

    I had personally experienced this when I was traveling with two older people. The driver could not do anything else when I got really angry. I was shouting at him from C5 road all the way to our place. I demanded an ID and the name of his supervisor. When he kept on insisting on the price he wanted, I handed him the usual amount I pay. He can’t do anything as well but to accept it. But I was still very kind to him since I was traveling with other people. If I were the only one there, I would have brought him to the authorities. I called the complaint center of NAIA. For several weeks I did not stop asking the NAIA authority for any developments on my complaint. Nothing happened. Might as well bring boxing gloves next time.

    3. Taxi meter will appear okay, but it will be a few hundred pesos higher than your usual fare. For someone not familiar with the usual fare from the airport to your destination, you will not notice this. HOW TO KNOW: FROM NAIA 2 TO DOMESTIC AIRPORT THE FARE IS P90. FROM NAIA 3 TO THE EXPRESSWAY AND SKYWAY INTERSECTION BEFORE GOING INSIDE BGC, IT’S P90. IF THE AMOUNT GOES WAY BEYOND THIS, THEN YOU WILL BE PAYING MORE THAN USUAL. YOU WILL ALSO NOTICE THE METER MOVES UP EVERY 15 SECONDS OR LESS.

    WHAT TO DO: TELL THE DRIVER SOMETHING MUST BE WRONG WITH HIS METER. IF HE ASKS YOU HOW MUCH DO YOU PAY – THEN HE KNOWS IT’S TAMPERED AND YOU KNOW IT. JUST GIVE HIM A GOOD ESTIMATE (USUALLY 2X A NORMAL TAXI RIDE). IF HE INSISTS ON A LARGER AMOUNT, JUST ADD A LITTLE MORE TO YOUR PREVIOUS OFFER AND TELL HIM THAT’S ALL THAT YOU ARE GOING TO PAY HIM BECAUSE THAT’S THE RIGHT PRICE (GIVE HIM A BLUFF). HE HAS NO OTHER CHOICE BUT TO ACCEPT WHATEVER YOU OFFER BECAUSE HE HAS NO WAY OF COMPLAINING ABOUT YOU. BUT REMEMBER TO DO THIS WHEN YOU GET OFF THE CAB AT YOUR DESTINATION WHEN HE IS ALREADY TOTALLY HELPLESS TO GET INTO A QUARREL WITH YOU.

    4. Another classic is the example you stated in this blog. The black tape over the meter reading. All you will see is an orange or green blinking dot or number. WHAT TO DO: THE MOMENT THE DRIVER OPENS THE METER AND YOU NOTICED THIS, GET OFF WHILE STILL INSIDE THE AIRPORT. BUT IN CASE YOU HAVE LEFT THE AIRPORT AND JUST NOTICED IT, INFORM HIM THAT YOU ARE A FREQUENT TRAVELER AND YOU KNOW EXACTLY HOW MUCH YOUR FARE IS. THEN DO MY ADVICE #3 WHEN YOU GET OFF AT YOUR DESTINATION.

  8. Hi Bob. This happened to me too. I lost the receipt already but the Yellow Taxi operator is Triangle phils 19 guevarra st brgy hiway hills mandaluyong. It charged me PHP 310 from Terminal 3 to Malate. The scheme is similar to what happened to you. Although the driver did not cover the meter with black tape, he was driving slowly! This is to prevent us from noticing that his meter responds much faster than usual. I think their meters are hacked so that instead of responding per 300m, they respond per 100m. Terminal 3 to Malate should just be around 7-8km and PHP 180 on a yellow taxi, but it almost doubled in my case. What irritates me here is that the passengers are left no choice but to ride in these units. On the other hand, not all of them have hacked meters, Still, you are not given a choice on which taxi you would like to ride to.

    I hope they would allow GrabTaxi to serve the airport. (not an endorser here, but from my experience GrabTaxi drivers are courteous and would not fool you with these hacks)

  9. File a complaint to:

    Atty. Winston Ginez, LTFRB Chairman
    Dir. Mohammad Lamping, OIC – LTO Law Enforcement Service
    MGen. Jose Angel Honrado, AFP (Ret), General Manager – MIAA

    Here are the email addresses:
    [email protected]
    [email protected]
    [email protected]
    [email protected]
    [email protected]
    [email protected]
    [email protected]

    We need to take action in order to avoid fellow citizens
    from being victimized.

    Thank you sir.

  10. Same thing happened with us. Jan. 25, 2014, from NAIA Terminal 1 to Victory Pasay, we are charged Php310 also. I also asked the driver, bakit hindi pumapatak yung metro considering that this is ametered taxi. Sabi nya, saka lang daw magpapakita yung total amout pag nag-print na. So ayun nga, pagdating sa Victory Pasay, 310 ang charge. Forgot to get the receipt because we are so dead tired from our travel from Singapore, our flight was 1am at nasa Changi airport na kami ng 10pm.

    We always take that yellow-metered airport taxi but this is the first time we are charged with that amount. The last time we went home, Feb. 2013, hindi naman ganyan kalaki. Around Php140 lang yata that time. And before, talagang makikita yung metro na pumapatak.

    Sa pagkakaalam ko, ang pagkakaiba lang ng metered airport taxi at yung regular taxi ay mas mataas ang flag down rate ng airport taxi, which is Php70.

  11. Sir Bob,

    I emailed a complaint on your behalf.

    I got a response from Mr. Ryan Salvador :

    “This is to acknowledge receipt of your email complaint and personal details.

    Please inform us if you are willing to attend a hearing or not regarding your complaint. If you do, our Legal Division will send Summons to you and the operator concerned informing you the date of the hearing. If you are not willing to attend a hearing, we will send a show cause letter to the operator to be signed by the Chairman informing the said operator of your complaint and requiring him/her to file a notarized answer within five (5) days from his/her receipt of the letter. A copy of the said letter will also be furnished to you.

    Should you have further queries, please do not hesitate to contact us through this email address.”

    Please coordinate with him to address this important issue.

    Let ‘s help each other and take action :)

  12. dami talaga mga anomalya yang mga airport taxi na yan! kaya ako pagpumupunta ako ng manila, di ako sumasakay sa kanila dun ako sa ordinaryong taxi or di kaya magpapasundo ako ng sasakyan sa kapatid ko.

  13. This was the email reply I got from the taxi company:

    Good day Mr. Reyes,

    I’m writing this letter to you as an apology and response to your blog post entitled New Manila Airport Taxi Gimmick, which was forwarded to me by an acquaintance. As the Operations Manager of Alamo Transport, I would like to express to you our apologies for the inconvenience our driver, from taxi TYT 283, may have cause you.

    We at Alamo aspire to provide proper and high-value service to our clients. As such, we, in coordination with the LTFRB and MIAA, perform random spot checks on our drivers to check their meters for tampering. Still, we admit that this isn’t a fool-proof measure and isolated incidents, such as the one you experienced, still occur, though with much less frequency. With regard to the driver in question, we have launched a full investigation, and he will be sanctioned appropriately, based upon those findings.

    There is a need for me to address your post, however. For you information, there are several private companies who operate Yellow Metered Taxis (YMT’s) and are regulated by the agencies mentioned above. In your letter, you complained of a taxi, licensed TYT 611, who overcharged you a trip to Buendia. Our company takes this matter very seriously, and we have worked very hard to eradicate this behavior from our YMT units. This car, however, is not in our fleet, and thus is not under our jurisdiction, and I am not able answer for the other taxi operators.

    I do not mean to dissuade you from posting your concerns, however, as our company name is pictured in the same post, there is a possibility that our name would be the one attached to the overcharging incident. And to that extent, I would like to ask you, if you would be amenable to settling the TYT 283 incident privately as well as removing our company name from the photo of your post?

    I hope that we may be able to work together to come up with a resolution that would best suit both you and our company.

    Thank you for your time, I hope to hear from you soon.

    Truly,


    Gelo Clavano
    Corporate Operations Manager
    Alamo Transport Leasing Services, Inc.

    Didn’t replied to him. Letting MIAA and DOTC handle this case.

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