Taxis in Manila & Rental Cars in Manila
For the most part you don't need a rental car in the Phillipines. In major cities taxis are cheap and cheerful. Just make sure they turn on the meter. Taxis without meters can be dangerous and there is several cases where tourists were robbed, that's why it's best to take the taxi from the hotel and ask them to mark up the plate number. In the Provinces jeepneys and tricycles (motorcycles with sidecare) are the best choices. Just be aware that trike drivers are the one of the biggest banditos in the country, often trying to charge you well over what a metered taxi costs in Manila or Cebu. If you want to travel long distances you can hire a car and driver for reasonable prices. Be aware that hiring a car and driver at the hotel will cost you more than getting one on the street. Taxis will also drive you anywhere but make sure they turn the meter on. If they refuse, get another taxi. Do not accept a fixed price. You can be sure that you will be severely overcharged! For long distance travel, buses are good value but do not fall asleep unless your valuables are safe. If there are many of you, just hire a car and driver or a taxi. Finally, ferries and domestic airlines go everywhere in the Phillipines and fares are very reasonable. Ferries are the choice if you want to mix with the locals. Get an overnight cabin if you want leisurely travel with seaviews of the islands along the way without paying a fortune.
Unfortunately many taxi drivers do not turn on their meters when you get in. Check and ask - each and every time. Many drivers will claim their meters are broken or not working. Others just flatly refuse to turn on the meter. This is illegal; taxis are not allowed to operate at all, unless their meter is working and turned on. If a taxi driver refuses to turn on his meter, just get out of the taxi and get the next one - there are always plenty of taxis around in Manila. If you travel by un-metered taxi you can expect to get ripped off and charged at least double the proper fare. There is a hot-line for reporting jeepney. bus and taxi drivers who break the rules to the controlling organization, LTFRB, which is effective but it takes a long time but it does result in drivers' licenses being suspended. They can lose their franchise if enough complaints are made about a company.
If you're travelling a lot even inside Metro Manila, it's best to find a rental car. As in Manila there is one car rental company that is offering self-drive rates as low as 999PHP/24 hours, it's cheaper to use than taxis.