P0.50 to P1: PUJ fare may decrease next week
Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon (The Freeman) - February 4, 2016 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Amid the continuing reduction in the prices of fuel, jeepney fares in Central Visayas, including Cebu, may decrease, too, by at least P0.50 to P1 starting next week.

“Basin next week na naa nay decision ang Board,” Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board-7 Director Rey Elnar said yesterday.

He said, however, that the petition of former Cebu City Councilor Augustus “Jun” Pe was not yet acted on by the board.

Pe’s petition to reduce jeepney fare by P0.50 (from P7.50 to P7) was filed in November of 2014.

While Pe’s petition was still unresolved, Elnar recommended to the LTFRB board in December 2014 to provisionally grant a P0.50 fare reduction while the main petition is still pending.

In response the LTFRB Board, composed of Winston Ginez as chairman and Engr.  Ronaldo Corpuz and lawyer Antonio Enrile-Intonas board members, approved Elnar recommendation on January 9, 2015.

“This provisional rollback of the PUJ minimum fare in Central Visayas is without prejudice to further deliberation and final action by the Board en banc on the main petition,” read the three-page order.

Because of the order, the minimum jeepney fare in Central Visayas would be P7 effective, January 13, 2015.  The same rate is still in effect.

“Ang petition tingali ni Pe maoy desisyonan. It could be that the Board will grant the P.50 that he is asking for. Pwede sad mas dako ang amount nga i-grant sa Board,” Elnar said.

Last August 7, 2015, former LTFRB board member and now Negros Oriental Representative Manuel Iway filed a nationwide petition to reduce jeepney fare by P1 for the first five kilometers, and by P0.25 per succeeding kilometer.

His petition, however, is scheduled to be heard Wednesday next week yet.

But as early as two weeks ago, LTFRB has already granted a P0.50 jeepney fare reduction in Regions III, IV and the National Capital Region, and recently in Region VI due to petitions by se-veral transport groups to reduce the jeepney fare.

Meanwhile, youth group Anakbayan held a protest rally against oil price hike even when crude prices in the world market is tumbling.

In a statement, Anakbayan national chairperson Vencer Crisostomo said big oil companies are unjustly profiting from motorists and the riding public.

“The global price of oil remains at a historic low of $30 a barrel compared to $97 a barrel two years ago, and yet they are quick to increase oil prices,” he said.

Comparison between crude oil prices and local pump prices from August 2014 to January 2016 will show that while oil prices in the world market have dropped by 69.07 percent, local pump prices have only been reduced by around 56 percent for diesel and 36 percent for gasoline.

According to the Department of Energy Oil Monitor Specifically, the price of diesel has decreased from P41 to P18 while the price of gasoline decreased from P50 to P32 between August 2014 and January 2016.

“Ang mga kartel kapag mag-rollback barya-barya pero kahit anong palusot ginagawa para mapataas lang ang presyo. Noon palaging sinasabi na mataas ang presyo sa world market kaya tumataas. Pero ngayon nanatiling mababa ang presyo (sa world market) bakit may increase (sa local pump prices)?” Crisostomo said. — /RHM (FREEMAN)

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