I remembered how I wrote a blog entry concerning that you can’t expect progress if people don’t know how the simple guidelines. One of these many can’t follow simple guideline problems that’s prevalent in the Philippines is related to what Filipinos would call as “isnabero taxi drivers” or snobbish taxi drivers. There’s the guideline that taxis shouldn’t be snobbish with their passengers. They can only refuse for valid reasons such as it’s time for them to eat or that they are running out of gas and that they need to gas. However, there’s the problem that more often than not that you meet taxi drivers who are very snobbish and choosy towards their customers.
So what’s my memories about snobbish taxi drivers? Nothing is more stupid than what I hear from other taxi drivers. Some wouldn’t let someone ride a taxi unless it’s some important person or a foreigner. When it’s a foreigner then they let them ride and take a super long route to get increased cash. Another experience of mine is how I ended up paying way higher all because a taxi driver took me to a much longer route and refused to take a shorter legal route. It’s so frustrating, isn’t it? This has me thinking about how it’s bad for economics and tourism.
Let’s think about it. Some people need to take a taxi because of an emergency. They finally run into a taxi but wait — said taxi won’t let them ride because they’re not foreigners! This would be very bad for economics for this reason. If people get late on their appointments not because they didn’t leave early but because of abusive taxi drivers then think of how much time was wasted. It can also be that a foreign investor wants to meet with important people. Unfortunately, he can’t be on time because of some isnabero taxi driver either refuses to let him ride (out of pseudo-nationalism) or decided to take him for a long trip — hoping to extort lots of money from said businessman!
What these picky taxi drivers are ignoring is that not being picky goes a long way. Can you imagine if you just kept driving around looking for some important person or foreigner, acting like you were driving a super nice car when it’s not? I can imagine all the opportunity losses in that kind of mentality. Supposedly, you only decide not to let people ride the taxi you’re driving for valid reasons such as it’s time to park it or it’s your break. You can get more money picking up passengers as they come along the way. However, waiting for a foreigner and giving him or her a LOOOOONG ride after they come in isn’t going to be as feasible.
So what’s the opportunity cost of being an isnaberong taxi driver? Let’s say that there are twenty potential passengers per day. Two are foreigners and 18 are Filipinos locals. So let’s say Taxi A decides to only take the two foreigners and ignore the 18. Taxi B attends to these customers. Let’s think about it that all 18 customers end up having a flag down of 100 pesos going to their destinations resulting to PHP 800.00. Taxi A would only take the two foreigners and ended up getting a flag down of PHP 200.00 per head. Taxi A only gets PHP 400.00 and an opportunity cost of PHP 800.00 was gained due to him being an isnaberong taxi driver. Unfortunately, that never enters the head of people who just want easy money since they only think short term than long term, right?