The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board has approved a P1 provisional fare increase for passenger utility jeepneys from P8 to P9.
The fare increase will cover Metro Manila, and Regions 3 and 4, said board member Aileen Lizada, but can only be implemented after LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra issues an order.
The LTFRB decided to grant a provisional fare increase after a series of hearings on the petition for a fare hike from five transport groups—Federation of Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines, Alliance of Concerned Transport Organization, Land Transportation Organization of the Philippines, Alliance of Transport Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines and Pangkalahatang Sanggunian Manila and Suburb Drivers Association Nationwide Inc.
Last year, the transport groups filed a petition with the LTFRB seeking to increase the minimum fare of P8 to P10, saying the high prices of fuel have hurt the income of the drivers and operators.
The Palace on Thursday defended the P1 fare hike, saying it was due to the surge in world oil prices.
Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said adjustments would be made on jeepney fares once oil prices drop.
“It’s a result of the increase in price of petroleum but we assure you if the price of petroleum goes down, there will be corresponding adjustments as well,” Roque said.
Meanwhile, Roque said the government has measures in place to cushion the effects of the high oil prices and the government’s Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Law.
Roque earlier said the government is looking at the purchase of cheaper oil products from countries that are not members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries such as Russia.
To date, the Philippines sources its fuel from Opec-member countries.
Roque said the negotiations to import diesel from Russia are ongoing and the government will urge the private sector to contribute to ensure energy security. W
“The good news is that the importation of Russian diesel is ongoing. The problem is we don’t have enough depots. But I think government is encouraging the private sector to build depots now because we’re really focusing on energy security,” Roque said.
There are also amelioration measures such as the unconditional cash transfer program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development to help cope with the TRAIN Law, he added.
“The amelioration measure we are implementing is the P200 unconditional cash transfer,” Roque said in Filipino.
Vouchers for jeepneys, at P5,000 a unit, will also start in July, he said.
The Department of Transportation’s fuel subsidy program for PUVs will be allocating a budget of P977 million to provide a P5,000 fuel subsidy to 179,852 legitimate jeepney franchise holders for the initial implementation of the program. With PNA
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