Citing continually rising pump prices of fuel, bus operators are seeking adjustments in the minimum fare for airconditioned units from P13 to P20 for the first five kilometers (kms) and P3.40 for every succeeding kilometer thereafter.
The bus operators submitted their appeal to the Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) which held an en banc meeting on the issue on Friday.
For their part, the regular passenger utility buses (PUBs) or non-airconditioned units were asking for a minimum fare of P15, up by P4 from the existing P11 for the first five kilometers, and an additional of P2.70 for every succeeding kilometer.
The provincial PUBs were also seeking a minimum fare of P15 for ordinary units for the first five kilometers and P2 per kilometer thereafter, while regular air-conditioned PUBs want P2.50 per kilometer charge, P2.60 per km for ‘De Luxe’ units, P2.70 per km for ‘Super De Luxe’ units, and P3.60 per km for ‘Luxury’ units.
The petitions were submitted by the Southern Luzon Bus Operators Association, the Nagkakaisang Samahan ng Nangangasiwa ng Panglalawigang Bus sa Pilipinas, and the Samahang Transport Operators ng Pilipinas, Inc.=
The transport groups said there were fewer buses operating nationwide due to the high price of fuel, with the current fare matrix enforced by the LTFRB when the price of diesel was still P44 per liter, compared to around P80 per liter as of July 25.
They promised that the return to 100 percent operations of PUBs would accelerate once the LTFRB granted their petition.
In a statement, the LTFRB said they understand the needs of PUB operators amid the spiraling fuel prices and the coronavirus pandemic.
“Aside from studying the implementation of a provisional fare increase for PUBs, the agency is looking into opening more routes to address the expected surge of passengers once face-to-face classes resume,” the LTFRB said.
Meanwhile, the LTFRB will seek the input of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) and the Department of Energy (DOE) on the petition, with its next hearing scheduled on August 11.