TRANSPORT groups on Thursday warned that the minimum jeepney fare of P7 would go up to P12 if the plan to slap excise tax on fuel products pushes through.
The Pinagkaisang Samahan ng Tsuper at Operator Nationwide, Unified Organization of Drivers and Transport Operators Nationwide, Kilusan sa Pagbabago sa Industriya ng Transportasyon, Federation of Jeepneys Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines (Fejodap) and Alliance of Concerned Transport
Organizations said imposing an additional excise tax on fuel products will trigger fare hikes because the price of diesel and gasoline will go up by P6.75 per liter and P5.65 per liter, respectively.
With such a huge price spike, they said the fare for jeepneys may go up to as much as P12 for the first four kilometers.
“With the increase in transport cost, labor organizations will ask for wage increases which will in turn result in an increase in prices of basic goods and services,” a manifesto prepared by the groups said.
They urged President Rodrigo Duterte and the Department of Finance to scrap the plan to collect additional excise tax, saying there are more efficient ways of raising revenues without compromising the welfare of the transportation sector.
The groups also sought the ouster of Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) chief Martin Delgra whom they accused of inaction on their concerns.
The groups complained that the LTFRB is too slow in processing applications to replace old jeeps, taxis, and bus units.
“Such inaction and delay is also true in cases of petitions for extension of validity of franchise, fare adjustment hearings, response to simple letters and other processes of the LTFRB with no explanation whatsoever as to the cause of delay,” they said.
“LTFRB officials seem to have forgotten that a public office is a public trust and public officers must as all times be accountable to the people, serve them with utmost responsibility, integrity, and efficiency,” they added.
The Fejodap threatened to hold a massive strike nationwide if the LTFRB will continue with its inaction on their concerns.
The Manila Times tried to get Delgra’s reaction but he could not be reached.