Hello, LTFRB. Why red? Why not turquoise blue or ube violet or old reliable white?

I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me yesterday.

Wherever I looked – on EDSA – I saw taxi drivers wearing red shirts. Each and every one of them.

I thought… ahhh, delayed Valentine’s Day celebration perhaps? Or, a tribute to Santa Claus in March?

I was wrong. Apparently, a 3-year old memorandum circular issued by the LTFRB requires drivers of public utility vehicles to wear color-coded, “collared” shirts as uniforms: light blue for jeepney drivers, white for bus drivers, red for taxi drivers, green for UV Express drivers; and yellow for school service bus drivers.

I hailed a cab and rode it for a few minutes around the block to satisfy my “why-must-you-wear-red” curiosity. Max, the taxi driver, said that the uniform enforcers were combing the streets and waiting to pounce on cab drivers wearing shirts that do not match LTFRB’s prescribed pantone red.

the color red can make you look fatter... your belly much bigger
the color red can make you look fatter… your belly much bigger

To his understanding, the uniform directive was a move by LTFRB to stop colorum taxicabs.


Somehow the logic wasn’t making sense. And obviously, the poor cab drivers were ill informed.

I guesstimated that the reason for the move was to make drivers neater-looking and more presentable – especially to tourists who came for “more fun” in the Philippines.

Though red is the universal color for passion, it is also the color that incites rage – a noun that doesn’t work too well in our always-entangled traffic.

Oh… and did I mention that it is the color red that agitates bulls, not the matadors?

guess what's agitating the bull?
guess what’s agitating the bull?

Based on my personal experience, wearing a red shirt can make a “heavy” individual look fatter… his belly a lot bigger.

So the questions remained on my mind. Why discriminate against cab drivers and assign them a loser of a color?

Whose big, bright idea was it at LTFRB?

Why not white collared shirts all around?

And the biggest question of all: why does DOTC’s agencies focus on mundane matters, like color-coded shirts, when they can spend the brainstorming hours and implementation logistics on more pressing matters.

Like fast tracking long-delayed car plates and stickers.

The thought is making me see red.

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