Transport groups, which represent 575,000 jeepney drivers and operators nationwide, are asking the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board to increase minimum jeepney fare in National Capital Region (NCR), Central Luzon (Region 3), Calabarzon (Region 4a), and Mimaropa (Region 4b) from P8 to P10 for the first four kilometers.
They also want the P1.50 rate for each succeeding kilometer to remain unchanged.
This move came in response to the increased diesel prices that have went up for eight continuous weeks, which consequently lessened drivers’ profits. Add to that are the increase in minimum wage from P491 to P512, price increase of spare parts as a result of peso depreciation, and the expected increase of diesel prices in the future.
ACTO Chairman and National President Efren de Luna explains:
“Kaya lumalabas, 50 percent ang nawala, gawa nga po ng traffic, gawa rin ng pagtaas ng presyo ng langis, gawa rin ng mga colorum, gawa rin ng kotong,” he said. “‘Yan yung mga tinatawag na expenses na hindi na gawa ng gobyerno. Kaya napilitan kami ngayon na mag-file ng petition ng fare increase.”
[It comes out that 50 percent of their income is lost because of traffic, higher fuel prices, colorum public-utility vehicles and “kotong” or bribing law enforcers. Those are the expenses that were not imposed by the government. This is why we were forced to file a petition for a fare increase.]
De Luna believes that the riding public will understand their situation and accept the added fare hike.
Jeepney drivers should issue receipts
Meanwhile, Chairman of Senate Transport Committee Risa Hontiveros told reporters that she’ll only approve of the P10 fare hike if the drivers will issue receipts.
She added that it would not be easy for the public to accommodate the added fare on their daily budget.
“Kung tatlong sakay ka araw araw, magkano yon? Dose pesos na kaagad ang kailangan mong idag-dag sa budget mo. Sa tingin ko hindi pa natin kailangan ito. Malaki pa rin naman ang kinikita ng ating mga tsuper sa kasalukuyang sitwasyon kaya wala akong nakikitang problema.
[If you have three rides per day, how much would that be? You now have to add P12 to your budget. I think we don’t need this. Currently, jeepney drivers still earn enough, so I don’t see the problem.]
Kung talagang ipipilit nila ang gusto nila, mapipilitan din siguro tayong manghingi ng resibo sa kanila,” Hontiveros said.
[If they’ll insist on this matter, then we’ll be forced to ask for receipts from them.]
Tomas Alves of FEJODAP, however, blasted the senator’s statement, and added that the lady senator is asking for the impossible.
“Hindi ko maisip kung bakit nasabi yan ng isang matinong senador. Walang matinong tao ang mag-iisip na kailangang mag-issue ng resibo ang mga tsuper natin sa jeep. Yan po ay sa panaginip lang nangyayari,” he said.
[I can’t think of any reason why a sensible senator can say that. There’s no sensible person who would even think of letting drivers issue a receipt. It’s a dream that won’t happen.]
LTFRB will “thoroughly deliberate the matter.”
LTFRB Spokesperson Aileen Lizada said that they will have a hearing over the said proposal on the second week of October.
“While the Board notes the 30-percent increase of the pump price of gas, comparing it from 2016 to 2017, the Board likewise notes that the PUJs (public utility jeepney) have the most number of units nationwide,” she said.
She also added that the petition needs to be carefully weighed over, since it will affect millions of passengers.
“The estimated number of PUJs nationwide is 200,000,” she added. “With an average of 16 passengers per unit, we are talking about 3.2 million passengers who will be affected. Therefore, the Board must thoroughly deliberate the matter.”
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