Transport groups filed a petition with the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to increase the minimum fare for jeepneys from P9 to P12, amid rising oil prices.
Pasang Masda filed the petition on Wednesday, October 13, to ask for a provisional P3 hike. Provisional means that the fare increase would be cancelled if oil prices go down.
“Very crucial sa hanay ng mga jeepney drivers sapagkat napakabigat na ng presyo ng diesel samin. (It is very crucial to the jeepney drivers because the high of price diesel is too heavy a burden on us),” Pasang Masda president Obet Martin said.
He said that the P9 minimum fare was sufficient if the price of diesel was at P40 per liter. “Nasa P49 na tayo. (We are at P49 already.)”
“Sa pagfa-file namin ito ay pang-unawa ng mga commuters at sambayanang Pilipino aking hinihingi sa kanila, sapagkat hindi na namin makakaya talaga. May nakaamba na namang pagtaas next week,” Martin said.
(In this filing, we are asking for the understanding of the commuter and the public, because we could no longer take it. Another round of price increase is being expected next week.)
As of Tuesday, October 12, total increases for the past year for gasoline and diesel reached P17.85 per liter and P16.50 per liter, respectively.
Government agencies are also studying the possibility of granting fuel subsidies instead of a fare hike.
In an LTFRB event, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade has rejected any fare hike during the pandemic, reiterating his earlier stance on the matter.
“Ayaw ko ng increase ng mga plete pagkat ang tatamaan ho diyan ay ‘yung nakakarami. (I don’t want to increase fares because those who will be hit hardest are majority of the people),” Tugade said on Tuesday.
The LTFRB, meanwhile, has earlier said that it will study the petition once it receives it. If the policy is to be followed, LTFRB Executive Director Joel Bolano said that the increase should be at P1.26 – to a total of P10.26 for the first four kilometers.
Aside from Pasang Masda, the other respondents are Alliance of Transport Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines, Federation of Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines, and Philippine Confederation of Drivers and Operators – Alliance of Concerned Transport Organization. – Rappler.com