I am a daily commuter from Bicutan (Taguig City in Metro Manila) to Pasay City (also in Metro Manila). The regular fare for this route is P15.00. A certain Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association plying the same route, however, collects P17.00 from each passenger boarding in its terminal in Bicutan. It is the association’s contention that the additional P2.00 cover the toll that they pay since they have to pass through the expressway instead of the service road. Is this legal?
Dear Mr. NP,
The additional charge or collection of P2.00 aside from the regular fare matrix approved by the Land Transportation, Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) from Bicutan to Pasay is not allowed, and is therefore, illegal. This is considered overcharging, which constitutes a violation of the prevailing fare matrix, and issued Certificate of Public Convenience. Pursuant to No. 10 of the LTFRB Memorandum Circular No. 2011-004, “The PUV [public utility vehicle]operator shall charge the passenger and freight rates as authorized by the board. In no case shall fares be lower or higher than the authorized charge without previous authority from the board. The PUV operator shall post a copy of the fare matrix in a conspicuous place at his/her/its office, terminal or waiting stations, and in the interior of each motor vehicle, which is in actual service.”
Overcharging or undercharging of fare can be penalized by a fine of P1,000.00 (Letter J (38), DOTC Joint Administrative Order No. 2014-01, Revised Schedule of Fines and Penalties for Violations of Laws, Rules and Regulations Governing Land Transportation) or Violation in connection with franchise, which has a penalty of P5,000.00 fine for the 1st offense; P10,000.00 and impounding of unit for thirty (30) days for second offense; and P15,000.00 and cancelation of Certificate of Public Convenience where the unit is authorized for third and subsequent offenses. (No. 3, IV, Ibid.)
Since there is a violation of the Certificate of Public Convenience, the aggrieved party may file a complaint at the Regional Office where the Certificate of Public Convenience was issued or at the Central Office of the LTFRB (Section 2, Rule 3, 2011 Revised Rules of Practice and Procedure before the LTRB).
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