The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Tuesday said it is not inclined to approve any jeepney fare hike amid the impact of COVID-19 to commuters.
“As of today, ayaw ko ng dagdag pamasahe. Ang tatamaan diyan ay yung nakakarami (As of today, I do not want any fare hikes. Many will be affected )” Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said in a virtual briefing.
“It has been my position and continues to be my position. Humanap tayo ng pamamaraan sa pakikipagtulungan ng mga jeepney drivers and operators. Huwag tayong tumutok sa tinatawag na increasing of fare (Let’s look for other ways and work with jeepney drivers and operators. Let’s not focus on fare hikes),” Tugade added.
Pasang Masda and other transport groups earlier announced that they will file a petition for a P3 percent increase in jeepney fare due to high oil prices. At present, the minimum fare stood at P9.
According to the Department of Energy, the year-to-date adjustments stand at a total net increase of P16.55 per liter for gasoline, P15 per liter for diesel, and P12.74 per liter for kerosene.
To help the jeepney drivers and operators, the DOTr is implementing the service contracting program, which allows participating PUV drivers to receive an onboarding incentive and a per kilometer fee to ferry medical frontliners, authorized persons outside of residences (APORs), and essential employees.
For those joining the Free Ride initiative under the Service Contracting Program, the DOTr and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) increased the payouts from P46.80 to P82.50 per kilometer for buses, and P52.50 for jeepneys.
PUV drivers also stand to receive an additional P7,000 if they log-in via the LTFRB’s Driver mobile application for five days a week.
DOTr also entered into a memorandum of agreement with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to help drivers and operators that were affected by the Public Vehicle Modernization Program.
Under the “enTSUPERneur,” the government will give financial assistance to PUV drivers and operators an opportunity to start their own business.
Part of the program includes entrepreneurial-related training, businesses management orientation, microinsurance, among others.
The DOTr expects 3,633 beneficiaries from this program with a total budget of P591 million.