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Jeepney transport leaders ask for P2 to P5 fare hike

MANILA, August 23 ------ The fate of the jeepney sector now lies on the decision of the Land Transportation Franchising Board (LTFRB) whether the agency will grant a request to increase fares. This as PUJs bear the brunt of seven consecutive weeks of oil price hikes as traffic in Metro Manila worsened their situation.

Liga ng Transportasyon at Operators sa Pilipinas (LTOP) and Stop and Go Coalition sent a letter to LTFRB, asking for a P2 fare hike. The letter is based on a memorandum circular passed last administration, which automatically adjusts the fares based on oil price rates. LTFRB is asking them to file a formal petition in five days. “Sa aming affected nang husto sa diesel at spare parts, kulang pa yung P2 na aming hinihiling. Dahil ang aming losses araw araw sa aming konsumo na 50 liters, P647 ang araw araw na nawawala against doon sa P2 na hinihiling namin sa first 4 kilometers," said Zaldy Ping-ay, National President of Stop and Go Coalition.

Another group of transport leaders, Pasang Masda, Alliance of Transport Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines (ALTODAP), and Alliance of Concerned Transport Organization (ACTO), filed a formal petition before the board Tuesday morning. The group requested a P5 peso increase in minimum fare and P1 for every succeeding kilometer. If approved, this will increase the jeepney minimum fare to P17 from the current P12 and the succeeding kilometer to P2.80 from the current P1.80.

The group admitted that the amount that they are appealing may be "too high" to be approved. That is why they said that they will ask for a provisional P1 increase in minimum fare. “Habang hini-hearing nila yung P5, yung P1 provisional muna ang hihilingin namin. Kung magno-normalize ang presyo ng petroleum products in the near future, pwede po namin i-recall ito at ibalik sa totoong pasahe,” Pasang Masda president Obet Martin said. Meanwhile, LTFRB is asking the leaders to file a singular petition to expedite decision-making. Two separate filed petitions may mean separate court proceedings.

LTFRB Chairman Teofilo Guadiz III said that while he understands the plight of the jeepney drivers, he is also bent on considering the impact of fare hikes on commuters and the economy. He estimates that the LTFRB will be issuing a decision in a month.



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