Taxi centers & drinking contest

TO FURTHER reduce traffic congestion in Metro Manila, the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) could learn a few lessons from what other progressive countries are doing.

For instance, the Saudi Arabia government has laid down new regulations that would ban empty taxicabs from roaming major thoroughfares in search of prospective passengers. Instead, taxi centers will be set up to receive cab requests by phone.

This scheme will not only reduce traffic jams, but will also eliminate incidence of crimes, notably hold-up victimizing unsuspecting taxi customers, and will help reduce various complaints against erring taxi drivers who choose destinations or try to deal contracts with their customers.


How does it work in Saudi? All taxis will have to be installed with Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) system, of which cab drivers will be trained how to use it when driving, while taxi centers will be provided with phones to receive calls and record all cards for future reference.

AVL systems will then be linked with Saudi’s Ministry of Transport and the National Information Center and will help locate the cab and keep track of its travel. A stricter fine will be imposed for violations, including revocation of the taxicab’s company’s license or franchise.

Based on official figures, there are a total of 49,649 taxis in the country, more than half of which – about 27,622 units – are plying in Metro Manila.  If this scheme is feasible in Metro Manila, just imagine how EDSA would be easily decongested.


It is still shocking to learn of the news that a certain 29-year-old Nino Maralit died after joining a drinking contest sponsored by Philip Morris Philippines Cigarette in Peters Inn Resort and Restaurant at White Beach, San Isidro, Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro last April.

Like other contestants, Maralit had consumed as many shots of liquor in a span of 100 seconds if he wanted to get the first prize of a Technomarine Watch, while a Blackberry phone for the second and third winners.

Unfortunately, after the contest, Maralit started to vomit and eventually lost consciousness. Greenish liquid were said to be seeping out of his eyes, ears and nose. Since there was no medic around, he was rushed to the nearby hospital.  He was declared DOA (dead on arrival).

Life is indeed short, but Maralit’s death is just senseless.


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