Fare hike freeze unfair – Citrasco
Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon (The Freeman) - January 13, 2018 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — The Cebu Integrated Transport Service Multi-purpose Cooperative (Citrasco) has branded the fare hike freeze as “unfair.”

“It’s so unfair,” said Citrasco chairman Ryan Benjamin Yu.

The Land Trans-portation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) announced on Tuesday that there would be no fare hike until March.

To date, transport network company Grab and the Philippine National Taxi Operators Association have filed petitions to hike their fares to cushion the impact of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act which would impose excise taxes on petroleum products. Five jeepney transport groups also have a pending P2 fare hike petition in the LTFRB.

Because of the TRAIN law, the price of gasoline will go up this year by P2.97 per liter while diesel and kerosene will increase by P2.80 and P3.36, respectively. The tax on diesel and bunker fuel will go up by P2 to P4.50 in 2019 and by P1.50 to P6 in 2020.

Yu said they may seek a higher increase in fare once the increase in the prices of fuel products will take effect.

"Inig saka sa presyo sa fuel tungod sa Train (law) kay mo-file dayon mi og fare increase. So, pananglitan mosaka na gyud ang presyo sa fuel by February, unfair na pud kaayo na kun until March wala’y fare increase," he said.

According to LTFRB board member Aileen Lizada, it will take them that long to finish studying all the fare hike petitions filed by different transport groups.

She said that they would have to hear the sides of both transport groups and commuters before the board could decide whether or not to approve the fare increases being sought following the implementation of the Duterte administration’s tax reform program.

The Cebu bus and mini bus operators, on the other hand, are planning to re-implement the basic minimum fare of P6 for the first five kilometers and another P1.25 for every succeeding kilometer starting February 1 this year.

"Dili man ni fare increase amoa. In fact, we are undercharging our fare for several years. We will just implement what was approved by LTFRB few years ago," said Julieto Flores, spokesperson of the bus operators.

At present, bus and mini bus operators only collect P5 for the first five kilometers and P1 for every succeeding kilometer in fare.

"Nangayo ra gyud mi og pasensiya sa among sumasakay nga panahon na gyud among i-reinstate ang fare as approved by LTFRB kay luoy pud among mga drivers," said Flores, who also sits as president of the North and South Bus Operators Cooperative. (FREEMAN)


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