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Taxi drivers here have a dress code with most companies. They wear white shirts and black pants. Most have good to fair English. Occasionally you will get a driver who thinks he can speak English, but can't. Get another taxi. He will be happy and so will you. (There are no women drivers) Holiday Taxi's are radio dispatched. So you can call one on your cell phone. There is another company or two who have radio dispatched taxis too.
Not all drivers are like the one I described earlier. Some will try to take advantage of you, but they are few, and mostly in Manila. Taxi drivers in Manila have heard about tipping, too. Insist that the driver use the meter. If he will not, get out and find another taxi.
I do not recommend buying or driving a car in the Philippines. Most people who do have cars usually have drivers. The traffic is heavy, and drivers pay no attention to the rules of the road. They drive intuitively. However, I have a couple of friends here who drive cars and love it.