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Manila rains help rickshaw drivers make a quick buck.

Manila: Metro Manila's pedal rickshaw drivers have reportedly charged 30 times their usual fare to the airport during the recent flooding episode at the capital metropolis.

Four days of heavy rains have forced Metro Manila to a standstill, with overwhelmed storm drains and clogged waterways. The departure line-up for international flights was, however, unaffected and this caused problems for passengers who had to rush to the airport.

According to a television report by ABS-CBN News reporter Zen Hernandez on Tuesday evening, pedal rickshaw or aACAypedicab' drivers are asking P1,500 (Dh126) for a short ride from Pasay City to Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) terminals.

Normally, pedicab passengers would pay anywhere between P20 to P50 for the short ride. But the road approaches to at least two of NAIA's three passenger terminals were flooded, with up to two feet of water until Tuesday.

Footage showed some passengers with umbrellas sitting on the roofs of pedicabs with their luggage to get to the airport without getting wet in the rain on Tuesday. Passengers were foreigners and overseas Filipino workers who were returning after their vacation home.

Meagre salary

A large portion of Metro Manila's urban dwellers survive on a daily budget of P50 per day. It is during the monsoon season when most streets get flooded that pedicab drivers make a quick buck.

Apart from pedicab drivers, street workers are also happy when it rains as they charge people a few pesos to cross flooded streets using narrow gangplanks.

Foreigners do not usually mind shelling out P1,500 to reach the airport but locals complain that the amount charged by pedicab drivers is an equivalent of several days' work for a minimum wage earner in Metro Manila.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Aug 22, 2013
Words:302
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