A PROPOSAL to reduce the fare rates of traditional public utility jeepneys (TPUJs) in Lapu-Lapu City has now been endorsed to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) in Manila.
In an interview on Friday, December 7, 2021, LTFRB 7 Director Eduardo Montealto Jr. said the letter submitted by Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan to their office has been endorsed to their main office in Manila and will undergo review.
“This will take time since we need to gather data coming from other government agencies,” Montealto said in Cebuano.
Last month, Chan submitted a letter to the LTFRB 7 to request for a reduction of fare since the passenger capacity of their city’s TPUJs has already increased.
Just before the pandemic began, TPUJs were charging a minimum fare of only P7.50.
When they were allowed to operate again during the pandemic, TPUJs charged around P9 to P11 as minimum fare as the operators had to spend for health protocol requirements and passenger capacity was reduced to ensure social distancing.
Montealto said before Chan’s request could be approved, data from the National Economic and Development Authority, Department of Trade and Industry, and Department of Energy needed to be studied to come up with an outcome that will benefit both the commuters and drivers.
Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (Piston) Cebu chairman Gregory Perez told SunStar Cebu that the LTFRB should not wait for any petition to decide whether there is a need to reduce the minimum fare.
Perez said they are not opposing any petition for fare reduction as long as the government acts on the increasing price of fuel.
“Ang driver okay ra sa ubos nga plitehan basta ubos usab ang presyo sa gasolina,” said Perez. (Drivers are okay with lower fares as long as the price of gasoline is also low.)
Perez alleged that the LTFRB is favoring modern PUJs because their high fare rates can compensate for the amortization of their units.
Montealto said there are already 858 modern PUJs plying the roads of Cebu under 48 transportation cooperatives.
Montealto added that the Department of Transportation and LTFRB will provide P160,000 in subsidy to those TPUJ drivers who want to switch to a modern unit.