A taxi driver was in hot water after he had refused to give a ride to an old woman and her disabled daughter in Cebu City, GMA News' Nikko Sereno reported Wednesday on 24 Oras.
In a video that went viral in social media, driver Norman Inojado asked 88-year-old Geralda Altamosa and her daughter to step out of the taxi despite the heavy downpour.
Lola Geralda narrated that she had asked the driver to bring them to Barangay Basak and told that she was willing to pay additional fare. However, Norman still declined to accommodate them.
"Malakas ang ulan. Pagdating namin sa bahay, basang-basa pa kami. Tinanong kami anong nangyari," Lola Geralda said, adding that she had fever after the incident.
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Region 7 invited Norman and the operator of Dr. J Taxi to discuss the matter with Lola Geralda.
The taxi driver admitted that what he did was wrong.
"Natatakot akong malunod Sir dahil responsibility namin kung masisira ang sasakyan. Bago pa kasi ito," Norman said, adding that he was concerned that the heavy rains could bring floods in the area.
The operator, on the other hand, expressed apologies to Lola Geralda.
"Humihingi na ako ng tawad pero kung hindi nila kami mapapatawad, sasagutin namin," said Jose Arranguez.
Norman paid a penalty fee of P10,000 for each violation he had committed.
The LTFRB reminded taxi drivers that they should not refuse passengers under all circumstances.
"May basic obligation tayo na hindi pwedeng tumanggi dahil public convenience tayo so hindi tayo pwedeng mamili ng pasahero kasi taxi tayo. We have a basic obligation na dapat courteous tayo sa mga pasahero. That applies to all public utility vehicle," said Edwin Antipuesto, hearing officer of LTFRB Region 7.
After the hearing, the teary-eyed taxi driver asked Lola Geralda's forgiveness. Lola Geralda accepted his apology. —Anna Felicia Bajo/JST, GMA News