Asia

Philippines taxi driver rewarded for returning valuables

Taxis in Manila (16 June 2008) Image copyright AFP
Image caption Taxi drivers compete strongly for fares in nearly all urban areas of the Philippines

A taxi driver in the Philippines who returned the valuable belongings of a businessman after they were left behind in his cab has been rewarded at home and abroad for his honesty.

Reggie Cabututan, 30, was honoured by the city of Baguio and offered a chance to study and work in Australia.

"All I did was go back and return [the] belongings when I realised [they had been] left," he told local media.

His actions have won online plaudits all over the world.

Australian businessman Trent Shields in a Facebook post said that Mr Cabututan returned his laptop, passport and headphones worth thousands of dollars when he left them in the cab after he got out feeling unwell on Saturday.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption A MacBook Pro laptop was one of the items left behind by Mr Shields in the cab and safely returned to him

"Reggie did not know the value of the contents, the suitcase was padlocked, and it wouldn't have mattered if there [was] a million dollars or it was empty.

"The real story should be focussed on his integrity," Mr Shields wrote.

"My friend and business partner Ace Estrada put together a small Facebook post to say thank you which blew up over night and became a symbol of pride in the region.

"Reggie embodies many of the values shared by the people of Baguio, and I was lucky enough to experience [them] on my trip."

In a separate Facebook post Mr Estrada said that as a result of his actions the taxi driver and his family would be going to Australia where he can complete a six-month software development course - run by one of Mr Shields' companies - in June.

"When he completes the course, he is guaranteed an internship with an Australian company, leading to a job that will pay him a good starting salary," he wrote.

"Just as we were leaving for the police station to file a report, Trent's taxi pulled in. Never was a sight more welcome than the smiling face of this driver. What an awesome win for humanity!"

Mr Cabututan was also presented with an award by the Baguio city government during a flag ceremony on Monday, the Philippines news website Rappler reported.

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