by Joel Roja/AJPress
MANILA – The Supreme Court has denied the petition filed by major taxi operators seeking to stop the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) from implementing several memorandum circulars imposing standards and regulations for taxi and mega taxi units, including the issuance of taxi meter receipts.
In a one-page en banc resolution released on June 4, 2008, the SC held that the Court of Appeals did not err when it junked the petition for prohibition filed by – Philippine National Taxi Operators Association, Inc. (PNTOA), New Qualitrans, Inc., R & E Transport, Inc., ABC Transportation Services, Inc., Lucky 8 Transport Service seeking the nullification of LTFRB’s memorandum circular nos. 2003-10, 2003-020 and 2005.
“The Court resolved to deny the petition for review on cetiorari, assailing the decision and resolution of the Court of Appeals, for failure thereof to sufficiently show that the public respondent committed any reversible error in the challenged decision and resolution as to warrant the exercise by this Court of its discretionary appellate jurisdiction in this case,” the SC said.
The appellate court earlier held that the said circulars are intended to “ensure passengers’ welfare and safety.”
It declared that claim of the tax operators that the requirement of taxi meter with receipts to be installed in taxis is for effective monitoring and improve revenue collection under circular no. 2005-039 is “misplaced.”
The CA explained that the revenue collection goal expressed in the said circular seems to be incidental only to the stated purpose of the requirement under Circular No. 2003-010 which is to “ensure passengers’ welfare and safety.”
The tax operators also failed to convince the CA that the said circulars violate the equal protection.
It noted that the requirement of installing taximeter issuing receipts only for units operating within Metro Manila is justifiable considering that tourism and commerce are concentrated in Metro Manila.
The CA also stressed that the volume of taxis and mega taxis is concentrated in Metro Manila.