In the ongoing clash among netizens, Uber and Grab drivers, and LTFRB, there’s one side that we haven’t from: the regular taxi drivers.
Majority of social media posts have favored the ride-hailing services, forgetting that taxi drivers are not the sole culprit, and do not deserve all the flak.
Facebook user Avid Liongoren—one of the creative forces behind the Metro Manila Film Festival 2016 entry Saving Sally—was one of the few netizens who represented the side of the taxi drivers.
His post began by echoing the sentiments of most commuters, “Ang sarap saksakan ng lapis ang mga leeg ng taxi driver na ayaw ka isakay ano?
“O yung nanghihingi pa ng pandagdag eh ang baho naman nila at ng sasakyan nila! Bwisit!”
But then Avid posed the question, “Pero bakit kaya sila ganyan kakupal?
“Ayaw ba nila kumita ng pera at tinatangihan akong isakay?”
Then he he put himself in the shoes of a regular taxi driver, “500 PhP is the average daily Taxi Boundary, this is the amount every driver needs to pay the fleet owner.
“It takes a minimum of 8 hours to make 1500.”
With our traffic situation, making enough money to accommodate their own needs proved to be more challenging than expected.
“With our terrible traffic, it's not uncommon for it to take 10-12 hours BEFORE they even start being able to make money.
“Isipin mo, 12 hours ka ng nagtatrabaho wala ka pang bayad.
“8 hours are already a full working day for office people.
“So, while the white-collar work force can already go home, they still have to force themselves to work another 6-8 hours because otherwise they make no money.”
Fuel and food have to be subtracted also from their take-home money.
And unlike, Grab and Uber, most taxi operators do not have attractive incentives.
“On the average, 200-300 na lang matitira sa kanila after pulling a 16-18 hour work day (many try to push 20 hrs+ just to make a few pesos more).”
From here, Avid underlined the reasons behind everyone’s major complaint against the regular taxi drivers, “Surrender the taxi late or too early and you get penalties as well (kaya napaka importante nung 'gagagrahe na ako' sa kanila).
“Paano pag umulan at di makabiyahe? Bayad ka pa din ng Boundary.
“May carmageddon sa Edsa? Bayad Boundary pa din.
“It's this oppressive system that turns them to assholes.”
Not every taxi driver is evil.
In less than five years that the two ride-hailing companies have been here, they too have had their share of horrible drivers.
Avid then concluded that some of us are blessed with the necessities in life than others, “Masuwerte tayong mga may kaya, kaya natin lumipat ng trabaho o tumigil magtrabaho.
“Sa madaming tao, walang choice at ang humingi ng plus 50 kasi trapik, ang tanging paraan para may makain pamilya nila.”
He insisted that when we do come across a kind-hearted taxi driver, we must give credit where credit is due.
“Pag may taxi driver na magalang at mabango despite these horrible conditions, juicekolord, bigyan niyo ng tip, medalya at jacket, kasi Santo iyan.”
Read Avid’s full Facebook here: