Taxis and their drivers
Taxis may only be found in cities. This means any town with the suffix "-City" like Cebu-City, Iloilo-City and so on. The reason is that tricycles are not allowed within the city limits. They are confined in the outskirts and adjacent barangays. With this rule city-majors try to reduce the traffic congestions caused by the slow fuming tricycles and motorelas.
Taxis can be caught on airports and bus terminals. They can also be called in any spot in town by simply making a sign. More often you will be recognized as a tourist and each empty taxi approaches you, the driver making sound the horn.
Taxis are from "dealer new" Toyotas with a few 100 km of life to old, rusty Chryslers hold together with a lot of rusty wire and tape. On most taxis you can read "aircon". When the air condition works, you will freeze within the next mile, but most of the time it doesn't work and the driver helds his elbow out of the window.
You can sit in the rear seats or in the front seat. Lots of drivers are fine guys and give you free information about their city and more ...
Manila Taxi Fares
Manila's taxi fares are known to be the lowest in the world. For the common white taxis the flag falls at PHP 30 (when it falls...). Each 300 meters cost PHP 2.50 as every two minutes the taxi stands motionless do.
The yellow airport taxis are more expensive: Flagfall is PHP 70 including 500 meters. Then the counter raises by PHP 4.00 every 300 meters.
The fare can vary from the simple to the triple in function of the traffic conditions. The fastest and cheapest ride from Manila NAIA Airport to Makati we got on Easter last year: PHP 85 instead of the usual PHP 150.
Cebu Taxi Fares
Cebu's taxi fares are as low as the ones in Manila. For the common taxis the flag falls at PHP 30 (when it falls...). Each 300 meters cost PHP 2.50 like every two minutes the taxi stands motionless. At the airport it is wise to go to the departure level. The taxis on arrival level are extremely expensive. Too expensive!
Cagayan de Oro Taxi Fares
Cagayan's taxi fares are as low as the ones in Manila. Most of the taxis are in an awful state. The flag falls at PHP 30 (when it falls...). Each 300 meters cost PHP 2.50 like every two minutes the taxi stands motionless. At the airport it is wise to go out of the airport premises and hire a taxi on the nearby road. The taxi drivers waiting at the airport's arrival behave like pirates. They never switch on the meter and charge you up to 800 pesos for a ride to the city center (e.g. Divisoria). The normal meterd fare is about 150 pesos.
Davao Taxi Fares
Davao's taxis can be compared with the ones in Cagayan de Oro. Recently TMC cops distributed xeroxed complaint forms to arriving passengers at the airport. If it helps, is another story. Flag fall is at PHP 30 (when it falls...). Each 300 meters drive or every 2 miutes waiting cost PHP 2.50
The most important thing is that you insist in putting on the meter. There are honest drivers who switch on the meter without being asked for. Others do it after you have asked for and others will not. The only solution to deal with this last category is either to:
During 2009, the LTFBR (Land Transport Franchising and Regulatory Board) introduced new meters that give you a printed receipt. See pictures on the right below.
Ross Brigoli, a software engineer, is developing a taxi-meter application for Android cellphones. Once available on Android Market, you may use it to check your driver's fairness.
In the past we have read and heard about taxi hijacking. There were (are?) two types of hijacking known in Manila:
We never had such problems and do know nobody who has experienced them. It seems that taxis have become sure in Manila. but please, be careful. Do not show all your glistening jewelery, big batches of 100 Dollar bills and all your video or computer gear.
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