A simple tool that allows passengers to report a taxi driver in the Philippines
Last night as I was watching the news, I chanced upon a segment about a new web page which allows people to report any bad taxi experience in the Philippines.You name it, they got it. From the "major" violations of refused boarding, contracting, reckless driving, physical assault, sexual assault to the relatively "minor" ones of smelly interiors, not in uniform and dilapidated. How cool is that. Alas, there's still hope!
During the commercial break, I tried to recall my own share of misfortunes (mostly contracting fares and refusal to board, thank God) and the ones I've learned through my friends and through other social networking sites. You see, I've always received emails and text messages telling me of a certain incident that happened to a passenger while riding a taxi and I've done my share of letting my loved ones and family be aware of it by telling them the story and reminding them to be extra cautious. But come to think of it, what happened after the story telling? Were these abusive and rude drivers apprehended? Correct me if I'm wrong but after these share of abusive incidents, nothing had happened.I haven't heard of any news where a taxi driver has been punished after a successful trial in the LTFRB. Sadly, these stories remain to be what they were intended to be in the first place - just warning and "beware of" tales.
Will this Taxikick click? At first glance, I thought it would. Why? It is user friendly.According to the news, you just have to go to the website - www.taxikick.com and you only need to put the plate number and choose from the list of violations in the drop down menu the bad experience you have encountered. How about the taxi name? What if I failed or forgot to get it? This will not be a problem in reporting such incident, unlike other sites that you have to fill out all the required fields to go on to the next step. But of course, this is advisable for easier tracking.
After trying to report a make believe incident (just for the heck of trying if it works), I seriously had doubt if this would really put an end to the problem.Let me point out my observations:
1. I have no Twitter account. After "kicking" the taxi, I have to sign in to my Twitter account and tweet it so that MMDA will know said incident. Really, Facebook is enough already. To have Twitter just for this purpose is not really a good thing for me.
2. The site does not ask for the passenger's real names or identification. How can the complaint be verified then? It could be just a prank or a frivolous complaint.
3. How will the complaints reach the proper authorities? According to the news, these complaints in taxikick.com will not and cannot hold as the victim has to personally appear in the LTFRB's complaint section.
4. Also, the site does not ask for the time and date of the incident. It just provided for "comments" and some people may not think it relevant to put those information. In reality, it is relevant because taxi drivers, epsecially those who work for big taxi companies, do not drive just a single taxi cab. A schedule is being followed wherein a particular driver will drive aparticular unit on a particular date and time.
5. It is subject to abuse and may just become a ranting or harassing escapade for some. Here's an example:
UVR216 MANILA'S FINEST
about 2 hours ago
about 2 hours ago
Check this out:
What the! This person is complaining about Yellow Cab (pizza) and not a taxi cab!!!
HAY123 YELLOW CAB
about 3 hours ago
This "project" has potential - a new private initiative on policy and law enforcement wherein the public in general has participation in law enforcement.I'm sure the intention of public exposure is good but on a deeper level, it only made it easier to just complain without offering a palpable solution to the problem or situation. Personally, I think there must be a sort of follow through or a mechanism to make these abusive taxi drivers accountable for their actions. The LTFRB must provide a complaint procedure and must let the public know about it. I seriously doubt if these reports would affect the franchise of the taxi based on what I heard from the news. First, even the LTFRB said that these complaints will not hold because there must be personal appearance of the complainant. Second and more importantly, there must be a verification of the complaint, and then a trial. At all times, the requirement of due process must be fulfilled.
Angeli I. Serapio, Entry #3