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Manibela: ₱25-₱30 jeepney fare needed to cover cost of modernization

Metro Manila, December 29 ------ A transport group said a fare hike should be implemented to help drivers and operators pay for the cost of a modern jeepney unit that is worth as much as ₱4 million. “Kailangan talaga hindi bababa sa ₱25 o ₱30 ang minimum na pamasahe sa apat na kilometro lamang at may succeeding pa ito na kailangan ₱2 per kilometer,” Manibela chairperson Mar Valbuena told CNN Philippines’ The Source. 


This range is higher by as much as 130% than the current minimum fare of ₱13 for traditional jeepneys. While the government provides a subsidy of ₱200,000, Valbeuna said this is still not enough to cover the expenses they will have when they modernize. From around ₱1.2 million in 2018, a modern jeepney now costs at least ₱2.6 million, he noted. Jeepney drivers and operators only have a few days left until the consolidation requirement under the public utility vehicle (PUV) modernization program ends by January 2024. 


Valbuena said they do not have a problem when it comes to submitting the requirements. Their only issue is the government forcing them to consolidate, which means giving up their franchise. “Sa kooperatiba po kasi mahirap. Marami na po ang nalugi at dalawang beses na-phaseout yung kanilang unit. Galing sa traditional, nag-modernize, and then yung modern nawala rin sa kanila dahil nga po di na nakabayad sa sobrang mahal,” he pointed out. 


Valbuena said around 40,000 drivers and operators in the National Capital Region alone have yet to comply with the requirement. Many have yet to also consolidate in the regions of Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, and Bicol. He said this issue will likely lead to a transportation crisis if the government continues to insist on consolidating. The government, specifically President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has been firm that the consolidation deadline will not be extended. 


The Department of Transportation said special permits will be issued to consolidated jeepneys to fill the gap in certain routes after the deadline. Meanwhile, franchises of those who did not comply with the requirement will be revoked. Valbuena said they would be willing to apply for the special permits if authorities will allow them to do so. 



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