Jeepney fare cut by P1

Reinir Padua - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) yesterday approved a provisional P1 rollback in the minimum fare for passenger jeepneys in Metro Manila.

LTFRB chairman Winston Ginez said the order took effect yesterday.

Ginez said they would still issue a fare matrix as revised even if the order became effective yesterday.

The jeepney fare cut involves a decrease from P8.50 to P7.50 for the first four kilometers in Metro Manila only.

The additional fare for every succeeding kilometer will still be P1.20.

For senior citizens and students, the minimum fare will be P6.

The board’s order is in relation to the petition of Negros Oriental Rep. Manuel Iway in October to reduce the minimum fare of jeepneys from P8.50 to P8 because of the series of rollbacks of fuel prices.

“Because of the continuing fall of world crude prices, the board moved to implement a provisional rollback of the minimum fare of passenger jeepneys in NCR (National Capital Region),” Ginez said.

The P1 fare reduction will be a big help to the public especially this Christmas season, Ginez added.

The board said the fluctuating diesel prices over the last five years dictated the minimum fare for commuter jeepneys.

In 2009, diesel price was pegged at P23 per liter. Two years later, the price went up to P37.75 per liter, resulting in fare hike from P7 to P8.

In 2012, diesel prices went up to P48 per liter, resulting in another minimum fare hike of 50 centavos to bring the fare to P8.50 for the first four kilometers.

With the series of diesel price reductions recently, the average price of diesel per liter is now at P33, prompting the board to decide to reduce the minimum fare to P7.50.

But the board’s order yesterday is only a provisional fare reduction, meaning temporary.

LTFRB board member Ariel Inton explained they deemed it necessary to issue a provisional fare rollback as they continued hearing the petition filed by Iway.

Another hearing is set on Jan. 14, Inton said.

The group ACTO, which earlier opposed Iway’s petition, has yet to submit its position paper to the board, Inton said.

He said the LTFRB had directed regional LTFRB directors to assess the prevailing condition in their areas and make recommendations if a minimum fare rollback is also feasible in their respective jurisdictions.

Elvira Medina, chair of a commuter group, welcomed the board’s ruling and said it was high time for a fare rollback, considering the decreases in fuel prices.

Labor groups welcomed the decision of the LTFRB to implement the fare reduction.

“The jeepney fare rollback is a welcome development for workers at this economically difficult period,” Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) spokesman Alan Tanjusay said.

“This is a Christmas gift for minimum wage earners who commute everyday for work. It’s a small amount, but it’s a big relief for the working people,” Tanjusay added.

The militant Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) called on the government to also cut the fare of the Light Railway Transit (LRT) and Manila Metro Rail Transit (MRT) as well as lower the prices of basic commodities and services for the benefit of lowly paid workers.

KMU chair Elmer Labog said workers nationwide are expecting more than P1 cut in jeepney fare since the amount of rollback is not commensurate to the drop in the global price of petroleum.

Labog noted that the fare rollback would also result in a huge reduction in the income of jeepney drivers.

“Even before the rollback, jeepney drivers are only earning a maximum of P400, which is below the minimum wage rate,” Labog pointed out. – With Mayen Jaymalin












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