Macau (MNA) – Some 1,700 taxi drivers claim in a petition delivered to the 3rd standing committee of the Legislative Assembly (AL) that they ‘unanimously’ disagree with the government proposal that only companies could eventually hold new taxi licences.
In the document signed June 7 by ‘all the effective cab drivers’ and to which Macau News Agency (MNA) has had access, the collective stated that it is ‘the drivers who have real needs, not companies and investors.’
‘The government cannot resort to easy management as a pretext to escape its responsibilities,’ the letter reads. ‘If the Secretary Raimundo do Rosário does not have the management capacity he should resign and stop wasting government resources!’
The group also requests the authorities not to intervene in the definition and limitation of working hours.
The drivers who signed the petition further accused the government of ‘justifying the revision of the law with the re-organising of the sector’ but claim that its final intention is, otherwise, ‘to open the path for importing foreign labour in the future.’
As a solution to avoid practices that have somewhat tarnished the sector, such as excessively charging clients – popularly known as the ‘black cab’ phenomenon – the group is proposing an increase in fares to MOP29 from MOP19 for the first 1,000 metres and of MOP2 for every 200 metres afterwards, in addition a fee of MOP30 for 30 minutes of wait for passengers.
A 30 per cent additional fee after 11:00pm is also being proposed ‘given that there are few passengers’ after that time and that ‘it is difficult to support the expenses with vehicle rent and fuel.’
The group also states that it is necessary to establish an appeal mechanism, claiming additionally that the penalties foreseen by the regulation currently under discussion are ‘extremely rigid, inhuman, unreasonable, and heavy.’
The existence of the petition was mentioned yesterday at a meeting of the 3rd committee, but its chairman, Vong Hin Fai, had not disclosed the content to media.