LTFRB orders jeepney fare cut anew

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine land transport regulator gave a late Christmas gift to millions of commuters in Metro Manila and nearby provinces by reducing the minimum public utility jeepney (PUJ) fare anew to P7 from P7.50.

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Thursday, January 21 ordered PUJ operators in Metro Manila, Region 3, and Region 4 to cut fare by P0.50 for the first 4 kilometers. Succeeding kilometers will remain at P1.50.

For students, persons with disabilities (PWDs), and senior citizens, PUJ minimum fare will be P5.60, or 20% off of the P7.

The temporary rollback or "provisional reduction" is due to the series of oil price cuts that started in 2015.

The LTFRB order will be published in major daily newspapers on Friday, January 22, and will take effect immediately after publication.

Diesel price rollbacks

The LTFRB said in a statement that it decided to provisionally reduce the minimum PUJ fare after a group of jeepney operators filed a petition for a voluntary rollback.

These transport groups include the Federation of Jeepney Operators and Drivers’ Association of the Philippines (FEJODAP), Liga ng mga Tsuper at Operator sa Pilipinas, Incorporated (LTOP), Alliance of Concerned Transport Organizations (ACTO), and Pasang Masda Nationwide, Incorporated.

"Masusing pinag-aaralan ng Board ang patuloy na paggalaw ng presyo ng krudo sa pandaigdigang merkado upang makapagpataw kami ng tamang fare adjustments," LTFRB Chairman Winston Ginez said.

(We are thoroughly studying the continuous movement of crude prices in the global market to determine the right fare adjustments.)

The LTFRB order stated that when oil prices climbed in the world market, it authorized a fare hike to enable transport operators to maintain their viability and continue serving the riding public. 

"But when oil prices start to tumble, the LTFRB will not hesitate to provisionally authorize reduction of fares," the order read.

With the recent prices of oil per barrel continuing to plummet, the LTFRB said there is a pronounced clamor for further reduction of transport fares to reflect this trend. (READ: Oil market could drown in over-supply – IEA)

"Taking into proper account and consideration the confluence of circumstances and incidents that transpired in local and world market, the Board resolves to grant the instant Consolidated Petition for Provisional Reduction PUJ Services," Ginez said.

"We believe that the effect of the series of oil price rollbacks must also benefit the riding public by reducing the minimum PUJ fare," he added.

Ginez said his office has ordered all LTFRB regional directors to conduct public hearings in their respective areas to assess the impact of the continuous drop in fuel prices on PUJ operators and commuters. – Rappler.com