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MANILA, Philippines – Drivers of ride-hailing firms are appealing to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) for a P15 hike in their base fare, amid high fuel costs.
In a statement read during a briefing on Thursday, March 17, TNVS Community, a group of drivers for transport network vehicle services, said that while they are grateful for the P6,500 fuel subsidy, they need an “immediate” solution from the LTFRB.
“Malaking tulong rin po ang fuel subsidy na ipagkakaloob ng ating pamahalaan. Subalit naniniwala kaming ang isyung kinakaharap natin ngayon ay nangangailangan ng agaran at makabuluhang solusyon mula sa LTFRB,” the group said.
(The fuel subsidy to be provided by the government would be a huge help. But we believe that the issue we’re facing right now needs an immediate and meaningful solution from the LTFRB).
TNVS Community acknowledged the limited options when it comes to public transportation, but said that high fuel prices are discouraging for some drivers who have yet to recover from the pandemic.
“Malayo ang mararating ng P15 na dagdag singil sa base fare upang patuloy na makapaglingkod sa mga pasahero at lalo na sa pantustos sa pang-araw-araw na pangangailangan ng aming mga pamilya,” the group said.
(The P15 hike in the base fare would really help us so we could continue serving passengers and most especially provide for our families’ daily needs.)
Their petition was filed back in November 2021, but it has yet to be acted on by the LTFRB. At the time, fuel prices were already rising due to increased demand as economies reopened.
The group renewed its call for the LTFRB to act on the petition immediately, given the record-breaking increases in pump prices so far in 2022.
“Ongoing pa po ang negotiation at wala pa pong linaw kung hanggang saan ang kayang ibigay ng gobyerno.… Humihiling po sana kami na bigyan ng agarang solusyon at pansin ng LTFRB,” said TNVS Community’s Ninoy Mopas.
(The negotiations are still ongoing and it remains unclear up to how much the government can grant. We’re asking for an immediate solution and attention from the LTFRB.)
In 2019, the LTFRB set the rate for ride-hailing services. For sedans, the base rate is up to P40, plus the additional charge of P15 per kilometer and P2 per minute for the entire trip. Surge pricing is capped at 2x, computed from the time and distance covered.
The LTFRB has yet to comment on the matter.
Aside from TNVS Community, jeepney groups have asked the LTFRB to increase the minimum fare to P15 from the current P9. The regulatory board is set to decide on a provisional fare hike of P1, pending the full decision on the petitions.
Fuel prices have gone up for 11 straight weeks. Since the start of the year, prices have increased by P20.35 per liter for gasoline, P30.65 per liter for diesel, and P24.90 per liter for kerosene. – Rappler.com