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Traffic council urges jeepney drivers to stay on road as public service

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Traffic council urges jeepney drivers to stay on road as public service
PUJs ply their route along EDSA-Aurora Boulevard intersection in Quezon City on Thursday, June 9, 2022. The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has recently approved the P1 provisional fare hike for jeepneys in Metro Manila, Regions 3 and 4.
THE STAR / Miguel Antonio De Guzman

MANILA, Philippines — The Inter-Agency Council on Traffic on Thursday urged jeepney drivers and operators halting their operations amid rising oil prices to avoid driving at a loss to reconsider this plan and "provide public service" to commuters. 

Speaking over the Laging Handa briefing, I-ACT chief Charlie del Rosario said that the LTFRB is trying to "balance" the economy with the needs of the drivers and commuters by approving the provisional increase in minimum fare by P1. 

Transport groups representing jeepney drivers have said that with the most recent six-peso increase in fuel costs, almost P100 has been added to the daily cost of the 20 liters of fuel that jeepney drivers consume per day.

"We can't force our drivers if that's what they believe in. But we always remind them to act accordingly with their franchise and provide service to the public," he said in mixed Filipino and English. 

Del Rosario pointed to the same P1 increase from last week but did not acknowledge the new round of oil price hikes from Monday this week. 

Still, two more petitions are pending before the LTFRB: one pushing for a P3 increase, and another one praying for an additional P5 to the minimum fare on jeepneys.

READ: Fuel prices make P1 added fare practically useless – Piston

But the board has yet to decide on these despite the new round of price hikes implemented by oil companies this week on top of the ones put in place last week. 

"I believe we need to study this issue and balance the economic reasons and health issues. It's difficult to say if we should or shouldn't support this," Del Rosario also said Thursday. 

According to transport group Piston, diesel prices have increased by a total of P41.15 since January. With these prices, the group's president Mody Floranda said that drivers were lucky to bring home P350 per day, while others would not earn at all.

"A jeepney driver who consumes around 20 liters within 12-16 hours of driving in a day can earn an additional P300 to their daily net income. Still far from the P1,087 per day family living wage needed for a family of five to live decently in NCR, but better than nothing,” he said in a report by The STAR. 

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

DOTR

I-ACT

INTER-AGENCY COUNCIL ON TRAFFIC

LAND TRANSPORTATION FRANCHISING AND REGULATORY BOARD

LTFRB

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

PUBLIC UTILITY JEEPNEYS

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