The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) announced on Monday (August 29) it is likely that they will approve the long-overdue increase on jeepney fares by next week, although the exact amount of the hike has not yet been determined.
LTFRB chairman Cheloy Velicaria-Garafil told the media that she is seeking the guidance of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) in coming up with a “reasonable and balanced” fare increase.
“It is only a question of how much will be given from the petition which will not have a big impact on inflation and effect on the commuters who will bear the brunt of this fare hike to be implemented,” Garafil said.
LTFRB also cited a NEDA study which the LTFRB used to increase the jeepney fare last July, as she noted that the inflationary effect warranted a P1 increase in transport fares.
Petitions were submitted before the LTFRB by several jeepney transport groups such as 1-Utak, Pasang Masda, Alliance of Transport Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines, and other transport groups for other public utility vehicles such as buses and UV Express also asking for fare adjustments.
However, Garafil said that LTFRB will decide first on the fare hike request for jeepneys, saying that it is already “due for an increase already.”
Jeepney drivers are seeking a P5 to P6 increase in fares, but the LTFRB said that it had already granted the P2 increase, albeit staggered, with fare prices going up to P10 in June and P11 the next month.
Garafil said that they will deliberate over the remaining P2 to P3 proposed fare hike the jeepney drivers are seeking.
“My personal take is that we need to recognize the conditions of our jeepney drivers and that there is really a need to increase the fares,” she said.
Marvin Joseph Ang is a news and creative writer who follows developments on politics, democracy, and popular culture. He advocates for a free press and national democracy. Follow him on Twitter at @marvs30ang for the latest news and updates.
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