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Monday, December 4, 2023

LTFRB OKs 1-peso provisional hike for base fares only starting Oct. 8

A one-peso provisional hike in the minimum fare for public utility jeepneys nationwide will take effect on October 8, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) announced yesterday.

LTFRB chairperson Teofilo Guadiz III said the board decided to increase the minimum fare for traditional PUJs to P13 from the current P12 and for modern PUJs to P15 from P14.

“We only approved a peso provisional fare increase for the first four kilometers, but there is no additional increase for the succeeding kilometers. This is applicable to modern and traditional public utility jeepneys throughout the country,” Guadiz said.

Several transport groups earlier filed a petition for a P5 fare increase for the first four kilometers and P1 for the next kilometers amid the spate of oil price hikes every week.

Pasang Masda president Roberto Martin said the fare increase would translate into an additional P350 to P400 in take-home pay for drivers and operators, but noted that the fuel price increases were way higher than the price cuts.

STOP & GO national president Zaldy Ping Ay also said the P1 provisional fare increase was too low, citing a Department of Energy report that fuel prices are expected to remain high until December.

He said drivers lose an average of P507 daily amid the recent pump price increases, prompting the group to seek a P2 provisional hike instead.

Commuters also expressed dismay over the increase, with Primo Morillo, convenor of The Passenger Forum, calling for the suspension of the excise and value-added taxes on fuels.

Martin said once the price of diesel fuel drops below P57 a liter, PUV drivers and operators will be ready to revert to the P12 base fare.

Oil firms implemented a mixed price movement yesterday with a price rollback of P2 per liter for gasoline and P0.50 per liter for kerosene, and an increase for diesel by P0.40 per liter.

These resulted in a year-to-date net increase of P15.30 per liter for gasoline, P13.80 per liter for diesel, and P8.94 per liter for kerosene.

Meanwhile, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan secretary-general Renato Reyes attributed the fare hike to the government’s “inaction” against the continuous spike of oil prices.

“We should call out the government and demand a decrease in the massive fuel tax to ease the prices of fuel and jeepney fare,” Reyes said.

Earlier, the Department of Budget and Management approved the release of P3 billion in fuel subsidies for 1.36 million drivers nationwide.

The subsidies range from P10,000 for modernized public utility jeepneys to P1,000 for tricycle drivers.

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