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This taxi driver returned $3,000 to his OFW passenger

The country needs more of his kind in the transport sector

Salute to all trustworthy Pinoy taxicab drivers. PHOTO FROM RAOUL ESPERAS

One of the common criticisms about Filipino taxicab drivers is that they can’t be trusted and they’re always out to put one over on their passengers. Well, one cabbie proved today that some of them can still be relied upon to do the right thing.

According to the Manila International Airport Authority, Golden Star Transport driver Gilbert Punzalan picked up returning overseas worker Virgilio Legaspi at NAIA Terminal 1 and brought his OFW passenger to a bus station in Sampaloc, Manila. Legaspi had arrived via a Philippine Airlines flight from Dammam, Saudi Arabia.

Alas, Legaspi later realized that he was missing his take-home money, which amounted to $3,000 (P156,000). So he hurriedly returned to NAIA 1 to try and recover the cash. Knowing the state of affairs in the country, we imagine he wasn’t very optimistic about his chances. Boy, did he get the surprise of his life.

Punzalan, the taxi driver, says that after dropping off Legaspi at the latter’s destination, he found an envelope inside his cab containing 30 pieces of $100 bills. This would have thrilled anyone of lesser character, but not Punzalan. Upon confirming that the name on the envelope matched the one on his cab dispatch slip, he “notified his superiors and rushed back to NAIA Terminal 1 with the hope that the owner would come back for the money.”

To cut the story short, the two met and the money was returned.

Alam ko pong pinaghirapan ni sir ang perang ‘yan (I know he worked hard to earn that money),” Punzalan is quoted by a press statement as saying. “Mahirap gastusin ang perang hindi mo pinaghirapan (It’s hard to spend money you didn’t work for).”

The MIAA statement indicates Punzalan has been an accredited NAIA taxi driver for six years.

Salute, good sir. Salute.

Vernon B. Sarne

Vernon is the founder and editor-in-chief of VISOR. He has been an automotive journalist for 26 years. He became one by serendipity, walking into the office of a small publishing company and applying for a position he had no idea was for a local car magazine. God has watched over him throughout his humble journey. He writes the ‘Spoiler’ column.