MANILA, June 13 (PNA) — Before the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) arrived at the decision to grant a Php 0.50 fare hike for jeepneys this month, the board had to make sure it was good for everyone.
This, LTFRB chairman Winston Ginez earlier said, meant that the increase had to strike a balance between the rights of public utility jeepney (PUJs) drivers and operators, and the rights of commuters who were mostly dependent on public transportation.
He stressed that like commuters, jeepney drivers and operators also had needs that deserved to be taken into consideration. At the same time, he assured that the fare hike was properly reviewed.
Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. in an earlier Palace media briefing also assured that the LTFRB considered the rights and welfare of all parties before arriving at a decision.
What went before
It can be recalled that several earlier petitions filed by PUJ groups were denied until the board sought assistance from the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) and the Department of Energy (DOE).
To the PUJ drivers and groups’ luck, the NEDA and DOE eventually found a “factual basis” for a reasonable increase in jeepney fare rates.
According to the DOE, there has been an increase in average diesel pump price from 2011 to 2014 amounting to Php 5.69 per liter.
Taking this into consideration, fuel consumption of PUJ engine is approximately pegged at six kilometers per liter and at the average of 10 passengers per trip, the LTFRB said.
Given these conclusions, the board calculated that an increase of Php 0.50 for the first four kilometers is necessary to recover the PUJ driver’s additional expenses in fuel.
The LTFRB said that the computation validated NEDA’s analysis that a reasonable adjustment in the minimum fare amounts to Php 0.50.
Fare hike takes effect
Ginez made the announcement of arriving at the decision to grant an increase in PUJ fare last May 30 stressing that only PUJs that comply with requirements will be allowed to charge the new fares.
He said that no fare hikes will be allowed without PUJs placing their new fare matrixes inside their vehicles. By June 9, the board started distributing the new fare matrixes to PUJ operators.
Starting June 14, commuters in the National Capital Region, Regions III and IV will be paying Php8.50 (instead of 8.00) for the first four kilometers and Php1.50 (instead of Php1.40) for every succeeding kilometer.
The LTFRB meanwhile reminded operators not to increase the boundary of their drivers so that they could receive full benefits of the fare hike.
It also advised commuters to report drivers who have not placed the fare matrix inside their vehicles.