Commuters file appeal vs jeepney, bus fare hikes

MANILA, Philippines – Commuters filed a motion for reconsideration to stop the implementation of the recently approved fare hikes for jeepneys and buses in Metro Manila, Central Luzon, and Calabarzon.

In a petition filed on Tuesday, October 23, concerned citizen Arlis Acao and Rodolfo Javellana of United Filipino Consumers and Commuters argued the fare hikes would have a grave impact on the poor.

"It is most respectfully prayed that the approved fare increases of jeeps and buses be stopped or withheld for the sake of...people of the Philippines," the petitioners said.

They allege that operators of jeepneys and buses earn a "good income," more than the minimum wage of P512 in Metro Manila.

"Parang hindi naman po makatarungan sa milyong-milyong Pilipino na nagsa-suffer na ng kahirapan dahil sa inflation rate, ay sasabayan pa ng fare increases," the petitioners said.

(It's not fair for the millions of Filipinos who suffer from poverty because of the [higher] inflation rate. Now they'll also have to face fare increases.)

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) earlier approved a P2 increase in jeepneys' minimum fare in Metro Manila, Central Luzon, and Calabarzon, as well as a provisional P1 increase for buses' minimum fare in Metro Manila.

The motion for reconsideration means that the implementation of the fare hikes, originally set for November, could be delayed.

LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra III said a hearing would be set for the petition. (READ: Jeepney drivers in more parts of PH seeking fare hike)

LTFRB Board Member Aileen Lizada, in a dissenting opinion on the jeepney fare hike, previously warned that the "higher-than-expected" increase may lead to higher inflation in the coming months, citing data from economic managers.

The country's inflation rate rose to an average of 6.2% in the 3rd quarter of 2018, higher than the revised 2018 forecast of 4.8% to 5.2%. – Rappler.com

Aika Rey

Aika Rey covers the Philippine Senate for Rappler. Before writing about politicians, she covered budget, labor, and transportation issues.

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