P2 Jeepney Fare Hike Sought

Transport groups are asking the government to increase jeepney fares by P2 in Regions 3, 4, and the National Capital Region, and to implement a 50-centavo provisional fare hike while the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) is deliberating on their petition.

The Alliance of Concerned Transport Organization (ACTO) and Pangkalahantang Sangguniang Metro Manila and Suburbs Association (Pasang Masda) yesterday filed their joint petition to increase the minimum jeepney fare from P8 to P10.

The transport groups also want to hike the charge for every succeeding kilometer from P1.40 to P1.75, to keep up with the demands of rising cost of operation.

"Due to the sharp increase of cost of fuel, lubricants, tires, batteries, and spare parts, as well as the resulting increase in minimum wage and cost of daily living allowance, petitioners are constrained to request for an increase in passenger fares," ACTO and Pasang Masda said in their petition.

Pasang Masda chief Roberto Martin said they have decided to file the petition after current price of diesel surpassed their groups' P45 per liter benchmark.

"At P45.55 per liter of diesel, jeepney drivers lose P100 to P120 of their daily income. We hope our passengers would understand the need for a fare hike," he said.

Unlike ACTO and Pasang Masda, transport group Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Opereytors Nationwide (Piston) said any fare hike is "ill-timed" considering the plight of those affected by the recent calamities.

"As of now, people are still recovering from their losses because of the recent calamities. We are still studying the proper timing for a fare hike," Piston president George San Mateo said, adding that they are resorting to street demonstrations to urge the government to control petroleum prices.

Elvira Medina of the National Center for Commuter Safety and Protection (NCCSP) said they will continue to oppose the fare hike petition, saying "it is too excessive."

For the LTFRB's part, Chairman Jaime Jacob said the Board will deliberate on the petitioners' clamor for a provisional fare hike while holding public hearings on the formal petition.

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