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Transport groups oppose fare cut

Reinir Padua - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - As another hefty fuel price cut of P1.50 per liter looms, transport groups are moving to temper what commuters hope would be a corresponding drop in fares.

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has set a hearing next month to get the side of transport groups opposing the provisional P1 rollback in the minimum fare for passenger jeepneys in Metro Manila.

Implementation of the fare rollback this week, with no change in the fare matrix, has created confusion.

The groups are the Alliance of Concerned Transport Operators, 1-United Transport Koalisyon, Federation of Jeepney Operators and Drivers’ Associations of the Philippines, Alliance of Transport Operators and Drivers’ Associations of the Philippines, and Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide.

LTFRB chairman Winston Ginez said deliberations would continue on a petition filed by Negros Oriental Rep. Manuel Iway for a 50-centavo fare cut due to the series of oil price rollbacks.

The board on Thursday rolled back the minimum fare for jeepneys in Metro Manila, Central Luzon and Southern Luzon from P8.50 to P7.50.

The board said there was sufficient basis to impose a P1 cut in the minimum fare for jeepneys.

Ginez said the provisional fare rollback could become permanent and could be reduced further.

“Yes, we’re still studying to make the fare rollback permanent. It could even go down further depending on fuel prices,” Ginez told The STAR yesterday.

He said there were instances in the past when a temporary rollback or increase in jeepney fare became permanent.

The board has started distributing fare matrices to guide jeepney drivers and operators.

The P7.50 minimum fare covers the first four kilometers of the trip. The additional fare for every succeeding kilometer remains at P1.50.

According to the board, a child less than a meter in height shall be free of charge and those from 1 to 1.30 meters in height shall pay half the fare.

Senior citizens, persons with disabilities and students are still entitled to a 20 percent discount.

Oil prices to go down again

Consumers can expect another round of oil price cuts this weekend or next week, industry sources said yesterday.

“There will be a possible rollback of P1.50 per liter for gasoline and diesel this weekend or early next week,” one source said.

Last week, oil companies rolled back prices of diesel by P2.25 per liter and gasoline by P2.50 per liter.

Oil prices have been on the decline since June, tracking global crude prices.

To date, diesel prices range from P31.15 to P34.60 per liter. Gasoline prices range from P39.60 to P45.70 per liter.

In its latest oil price monitoring report, the Department of Energy said crude prices dipped further this week to as low as $65 per barrel or about 40 percent lower since it started to fall in June due to weak demand and crude supply glut in the world market. – With Iris Gonzales

ALLIANCE OF CONCERNED TRANSPORT OPERATORS

ASSOCIATIONS OF THE PHILIPPINES

CENTRAL LUZON AND SOUTHERN LUZON

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

FARE

GINEZ

LAND TRANSPORTATION FRANCHISING AND REGULATORY BOARD

MANUEL IWAY

METRO MANILA

PRICES

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