DOTr wants more jeepney and bus passengers as drivers push for fare hike

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is proposing to increase the number of individuals allowed in public utility vehicles (PUVs), as passengers struggle to go to work amid scaled-down quarantine restrictions in Metro Manila.

In a briefing on Monday, October 18, Transportation Assistant Secretary Steve Pastor said increasing the current maximum capacity of 50% in PUVs will help both commuters and drivers.

"The increase will be significant. I cannot give the exact figure at this point in time because Secretary [Arthur] Tugade wants the proposal submitted to the inter-agency task force to be based on technical expertise and backed up by medical studies," Pastor said in a mix of English and Filipino.

Experts have noted that reopening the economy will be difficult if workers cannot go to workplaces safely.

The proposal to increase the number of passengers also comes as jeepney drivers urge the government to increase the minimum fare from P9 to P12, due to soaring oil prices.

As of Monday, total increases for gasoline and diesel in 2021 have reached around P19 and P18, respectively.

Tugade is not keen on increasing fares, and is instead pushing for fuel subsidies. – Rappler.com

Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.

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