The management of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport has started removing designated space for white taxis at the airport following the recurrence of abuse and other irregularities committed by taxi drivers against air travelers.
“Beginning last Monday, May 6, we have removed the white taxi queuing lane in NAIA Terminal 1 as a prelude to eventually putting an end to the privilege given to them to line up and pick up passengers in the four terminals,” said Eddie Monreal, general manager of the Manila International Airport Authority.
He said that while they do not intend to limit the choices to MIAA accredited transport, they are also duty bound to protect passengers from enterprising drivers.
“This campaign against abusive taxi drivers also extends to the drivers of MIAA accredited transport services. No one is exempted here. We have no room for people who continue to destroy the reputation of NAIA and damage the image of our country before the world. Sadly, this people simply have no love for country,” added Monreal.
On Wednesday, Austrian travel video bloggers Mike and Nelly thanked MIAA authorities for the arrest of taxi driver Jhumil Bule who was the subject of their vlog posted in their Youtube channel.
In the video, the driver was forcing the couple to pay additional for the pieces of luggage they had. Being frequent visitors to the Philippines, the couple refused to pay more saying that they are aware that no such additional payment is required.
Monreal immediately ordered the Intelligence and Investigation Department under Col. Roque Alcantara to locate the driver who was later identified as Jhumil Bule from Taytay, Rizal. Coordination was made with the Taytay PNP which led to the arrest.
Monreal personally appeared to the Intelligence office and admonished the driver and instructed Alcantara to surrender Bule’s driver’s license to the Land Transportation Office and recommend for its revocation.
The MIAA chief also ordered the airport police department to ban the entire fleet of Davis taxi in all NAIA Terminals.
Monreal had directed all NAIA accredited transport companies to ensure the availability of vehicles to service passengers especially during peak hours.
At the same time, he also appealed to transport network vehicle service operator Grab to encourage members to service airport passengers.
For the year 2018, the MIAA Customer Relations Center recorded a total of 301 complaints against white taxis and another 56 during the first quarter of 2019. All these complaints were endorsed to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board for appropriate action.
Airport authorities said major terminals have thousands of incoming passengers a day, most of them arriving practically at the peak-hour window.
They added that the MIAA has been criticized for the lack of transportation which is why the authority decided to open the airport to non-accredited taxi companies.