The minimum jeepney fare in Metro Manila was slashed by P1 on Thursday as local fuel prices continued to drop.
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) reduced the fare from P8.50 to P7.50.
The new fare covers the first 4 kilometers, with the rate for succeeding kilometers unchanged.
For students and senior citizens, the minimum fare will be P6.
The board acted on the petition of Negros Oriental Rep. Manuel Iway petition on October 22 requesting for 50-centavo reduction in the minimum fare.
The board decided on a P1 rollback “because it will mean big savings for jeepney riders especially this Christmas,” LTFRB Chairperson Winston Ginez said on Thursday.
Fluctuating diesel prices have dictated jeepney fare over the last five years. In 2009, diesel was P23 per liter. Two years later, its price jumped to P37.75 per liter, and the fare rose from P7 to P8.
In 2012, diesel hit P48 per liter, raising the fare by another 50 centavos.
Following a succession of price rollbacks, the per-liter price of diesel is now P33.
The order also covers jeepneys that come in to the metropolis form the nearby provinces of Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite and Laguna.
Ginez said they have directed regional LTFRB directors to determine if a fare rollback is feasible in their areas.
Palace deputy spokesman Abigail Valte said the fare rollback “will certainly be welcomed by the riding public.”
In an interview, LTFRB board member Ariel Inton said the board arrived at a decision after transport groups and commuters did not object to Iway’s petition.
“We thank the jeepney transport sector in agreeing to the rollback for the benefit of the riding public,” Inton told The Manila Times.
George San Mateo, national president of Piston (Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Operator Nationwide), said that since the transport sector has agreed to such as high reduction, the government must in turn also work to reduce the prices of basic commodities.
San Mateo noted that jeepney drivers earn only about P400 day, which is way below the minimum wage of regular laborers who work for only eight hours a day.
He said costs of freight and shipping and even the fares in the railway systems are added burdens to the public.
He said the income from driving a jeepney is far lower than the government’s mandated daily living wage of P1,063 per day of a family of six.
Valte said that as far as the monitoring is concerned, “there is, normally, a spike in some of the prices, what they call the ‘Christmas items’ when the season comes in.”
“The monitoring of DTI has so far said that prices remain stable and stocks are all there,” she added.
With Jing Villamente