Airport authorities arrested on Monday a taxicab driver who overcharged a female passenger at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport terminal 2 over the weekend.
Ramon Leoligao was charged with swindling, estafa and unjust vexation before the Pasay City Prosecutor’s Office on the complaints filed by Suzanne Nagac, who reportedly works as one of the fashion design consultants of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Investigation showed that Leoligao picked up Nagac at the terminal around 12:30 a.m. of March 2 and was asked to bring the passenger to Terminal 3, a trip that would take between two to three minutes using the Naia Skyway during that time.
While traversing MIAA Road, Leoligao asked Nagac to pay P600 plus the P45 Skyway toll fee. The passenger tried to confront the driver about the fare, but lost the argument with the driver who persisted in charging her with the huge fare.
Upon reaching Terminal 3, Nagac was able to note down the taxi’s plate number TKY 962, and rushed to the Airport Police Department to file a complaint.
It was learned that the cab has been unregistered since 2007, and the taxi’s plate number was registered to a Toyota Avanza.
On Sunday, the APD men arrested Leoligao at the NAIA Terminal 2.
Last year, hundreds of regular or white taxi units were banned from lining up and picking passengers at the airport terminals due to various complaints of abuses and illegal activities.
“We imposed a total ban policy when the taxi drivers committed overcharging and other rude behaviors,” said Manila International Airport Authority - Curbside Management Operations officer Michael Baloso.
Baloso said among other infractions committed by the non-accredited taxi drivers were reckless driving, refusal to convey passengers, contracting, arrogance, no proper queuing, and death threats to their clients.
“If they (banned taxis) persist on lining up at the taxi bay despite the ban, our security personnel drive them away or are issued traffic citation tickets by our airport police department,” he said.
Once the drivers committed grave abuse against the passengers, the MIAA will report the case with the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board to go against the driver and the operator of taxi.
In July 2016, MIAA general manager Eddie Monreal gave the go signal for regular taxis to line up and pick passengers at the NAIA, following complaints about the lack of affordable transportation.
The move, according to Monreal, was made to give passengers another option or choice of transportation to their destination. He said allowing the regular taxis will also address the shortage of airport accredited transportation units.
To ensure safety of the riding public, a dispatch slip with the name of the driver, taxi plate number, name of the operator, and the important hotline numbers will be given to passengers, while a copy of the taxi slip will be retained by the dispatcher at the airport.
Monreal assured that every complaint made by passengers will be resolved within 72 hours.
He said erring taxi drivers will be banned from entering the four terminals of the NAIA and their license will be revoked once they are proven guilty of any violations under the Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board and the Land Transportation Office.
Airport authorities said major passenger terminals have thousands of incoming passengers a day, most of them arriving at the peak-hour window.
The MIAA has been criticized for the lack of transportation, which is why the authority decided opening the airport to non-accredited taxi companies, they added.