The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Wednesday said it is likely to approve a provisional fare increase for public utility jeepneys (PUJs) before the end of the year.
“Mahirap pong balansehin, nauunawaan po namin ‘yan. So we understand. We will consider the fare hike. However, give us a little time to determine how much and when would be the appropriate time to impose the fare hike,” said LTFRB Chairperson Teofilo Guadiz in Raffy Tima’s report on “24 Oras.”
(It is difficult to balance. We understand this. We will consider the fare hike. However, give us a little time to determine how much and when would be the appropriate time to impose the fare hike.)
Last month, transportation groups Pasang Masda, Alliance of Concerned Transport Organization, and Alliance of Transport Operators and Drivers’ Association of the Philippines filed petitions seeking a P5 increase in the minimum fare of PUJs amid the rising prices of fuel products.
The three organizations likewise asked for a P1 hike for every kilometer of travel after the four-kilometer trip.
Guadiz said the LTFRB will conduct an initial hearing on the petitions on September 26. He also said they would have to consult the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) for the fare increase to determine its effect on the economy.
If the LTFRB procedures are followed, the agency’s resolution on the filed petitions may be issued by the end of October or the month of November.
“Pag ganito ang fare hike, ano ba ang epekto? Ilang percentage ng inflation ang itataas. In the end po, yung mga pamilya din ng mga tsuper ang maghihirap po pag tumaas ang presyo ng lahat ng bilihin,” said Guadiz.
(If we approve the fare hike then what will be the effect on the economy? How much will the inflation rate increase? In the end, the families of the jeepney drivers will be affected by the increase in prices of goods.)
Transport group Pasang Masda (PM) decried the LTFRB’s remarks.
“Aanhin mo pa ang damo kung patay na ang kabayo. Hindi ganon. Alam nating makakaapekto ‘to pero ‘yung mga naapektuhan sa kasalukuyan nakikita ba nila? Kaming bang mga public transport sector na apektadong-apektado nakita nila?” PM president Obet Martin said.
(We know it will affect the economy but can they see those who are suffering now? The public transport sector is battered by the rising fuel prices.)
Meanwhile, the LTFRB said it had downloaded the budget allocations for the fuel subsidy of around 50,000 jeepney drivers to the LandBank earlier. This will be increased in the coming days to fulfill the cash aid for the 1.6 million beneficiaries.
“Insofar as the LTFRB is concerned, downloaded na ang pera. Nasa processing na ng LandBank, how fast they can credit the money to the individual accounts of the operators,” said LTFRB Executive Director Robert Peig.
(Insofar as the LTFRB is concerned, the funds have been downloaded. It is now up to the LandBank on how fast they can credit the money to the individual accounts of the operators.)
GMA Integrated News reached out to the LandBank for a comment but it has yet to respond.
In 2022, the LTFRB approved fare increases for PUJs, buses, taxis, and transport network vehicle services in light of the continuous spike in fuel prices. — Sundy Locus/BM, GMA Integrated News