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Transport groups seek P2 fare hike amid rising fuel costs

Philstar.com
Transport groups seek P2 fare hike amid rising fuel costs
A replica of an updated traditional jeepney was presented by the Alliance of Concerned Transport Organizations to the Department of Transportation at the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines compound in Pasay yesterday.
Rudy Santos

MANILA, Philippines — Several transport groups have collectively petitioned to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) for a P2 increase in the minimum fare of all public utility vehicles (PUVs) nationwide, citing the recent oil price hike.

Among the groups that signed the petition are Liga ng Transportasyon at Operators sa Pilipinas (LTOP), Stop and Go Transport Coalition Incorporated (STOP&GO), Federation of Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines (FEJODAP) and Pagkakaisa ng mga Tsuper at Operators Nationwide (PISTON).

"[This] will go a long way uplifting the economic conditions of the drivers and operators," the petition read.

PISTON, however, clarified in a post on X (formerly Twitter) that they are not among those tha requested for the fare hike. They said that urging the government to control oil prices by scrapping the Oil Deregulation Law and suspending the Excise Tax and Value Added Tax on oil will be more beneficial for the public.

"Hindi po kasama ang PISTON sa nanghihingi ng dagdag pasahe. Bagama't karapatan ng ibang mga transport group ang magpetisyon para sa dagdag kita," the transport group said in a post. 

(PISTON is not included among the groups seeking fare hike. However, other transport groups have the right to petition increase in fare.)

Philstar.com reached out to PISTON regarding the inclusion of their president's signature in the petition, but as of the time of publication, no response has been received.

In April, the LTFRB lowered the minimum fare to P9 and P11 for traditional and modernized jeepneys respectively. If the petition is approved, riding a jeep will cost P11 to P13 at the minimum. This is still P1 cheaper than the fare jeepneys had prior to the April fare matrix.

Oil price hike

PISTON said in a statement on Monday that the rising fuel costs "poses a grave threat" to the financial situation of PUV drivers and small operators. They also said that LTFRB's proposed surge fare pricing is a "misguided" solution to the oil price hike, burdening commuters.

Jeepney drivers only earn P500 to P600 for every 12 to 18 hours they travel due to the consecutive increase in petroleum products, PISTON National President Mody Floranda said in an interview with CNN Philippines.

 "Kung magtataas tayo ng pamasahe, nararapat lang na unahin muna ng gobyerno ang ilang taon nang panawagan ng mga manggagawa para sa dagdag na nakabubuhay na sahod upang makahabol ang kanilang kita sa mga pagtaas ng presyo," Floranda said.

(If we are going to increase the minimum fare, the government should prioritize workers who are calling for salary hike so that they can keep up with fare hike)

 As of August 8, oil companies implemented an increase of P0.50/liter for gasoline, P4.00/liter for diesel, and P2.75/liter for kerosene. This has been the fourth price increase made in the past month.

The Department of Energy said the oil price hike was brought about by the lower output of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and US crude inventory in July. Oil production has also been cut in countries like Saudi Arabia and Russia starting August.

In September 2022, the LTFRB greenlit fare increases for traditional and modern jeepneys, buses, taxis, and transport network vehicle services (TNVS). These adjustments included a P1 provisional hike in the minimum fare for the first four kilometers traveled in both traditional and modern jeepneys. 

The flagdown rates for taxis and TNVS also saw an upward adjustment of P5.00.

City and provincial buses received a uniform P2 base fare increase covering the first five kilometers, with subsequent kilometer fares adjusted between P0.35 to P0.50, depending on bus type. — Intern, Dominique Nicole Flores, with reports by Kristine Daguno-Bersamina

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