Transport groups seek P2 jeepney fare hike

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TRANSPORT groups filed a petition before the Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Tuesday seeking a minimum jeepney fare of P10, or a P2 increase from the current P8.

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Representatives from the Federation of Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines (Fejodap), Alliance of Concerned Transport Organization (ACTO), Liga ng Transport Operator ng Pilipinas (LTOP), Alliance Transport Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines (Altodap) and Pangkalahatang Sanggunian Manila & Suburb Drivers Association (Pasang Masda) went to the LTFRB Central Office to petition for the P2 fare hike for the National Capital Region, Central Luzon, Calabarzon and Mimaropa.

Calabarzon refers to the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon while Mimaropa stands for Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan.

“Several increases in the diesel pump price were imposed by oil companies from August to September, with the price at P32.64 per liter to date from P30.05 per liter in August,” the group said in a statement.

Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp., Phoenix Petroleum Philippines, PTT Philippines Corp. and SeaOil Philippine Inc.’s gasoline prices recently increased by P0.30 per liter. Diesel prices rose by P0.70 per liter.

“We are asking for a fare increase because of the successive increases in oil prices that have reduced our earnings. It’s been more or less 10 years that the LTFRB has not approved our petition for an increase. This is why our petition for an increase is justified,” said Altodap representative Melencio Vargas.

The LTFRB said it would have to deliberate on the petition, as the increase would have a “social impact” on millions of commuters.

“The estimated number of [public utility jeepneys]nationwide is 200,000. With an average of 16 passengers per unit we are talking about 2.3 million passengers who will be affected,” lawyer Aileen Lizada, LTFRB spokesman, said in a text message.

Lizada said commuters’ groups would be invited to a hearing on September 27 to discuss the fare increase petition.

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