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Gov’t OKs 50¢ jeepney fare hike

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MANILA, Philippines—The government on Tuesday approved a provisional 50-centavo increase in jeepney fares on the same day that oil firms raised anew their prices.

Effective Wednesday, minimum fares for jeepneys will be adjusted to P8.50 from P8, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) said in a decision.

The fare increase will cover all areas of the country except for Regions 1 (Ilocos), 11 (Davao), 12 (Caraga) and 13 (Socsargen), and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Oil companies raised prices of premium gasoline by 70 centavos a liter and of regular gasoline, diesel and kerosene by 60 centavos a liter.

This was the 10th time oil firms raised prices of petroleum products in the first three months of the year. They had cut prices on three occasions since January.

Before the latest round of adjustments, the prices of unleaded gasoline averaged P58.45 a liter and diesel, P48.70 a liter. Prices of kerosene ranged from P52.71 to P59.64 a liter.

Improved US economy

As of March 19, the year-to-date net increase for gasoline and diesel stood at P5.85 a liter, and P3.20 a liter, respectively.

The Department of Energy said the series of oil price increases could be attributed to an improving US economy, which is expected to further boost demand for fuel supplies, and to fears arising from tensions over Iran’s nuclear program, which could lead to global supply disruptions.

Automatic rollback

As of March 19, Dubai crude stood at $124 a barrel. Prices of gasoline based on the Mean of Platts Singapore (MOPS) benchmark for petroleum products in the Philippines stood at $138 a barrel, while MOPS-based diesel prices reached $139 a barrel.

The LTFRB said the jeepney fare increase would be taken back once diesel prices return to about P45 from the current P48 per liter.

“While the board recognizes the plight of the Filipino people in this time of crisis, it cannot be insensitive to the present clamor of stakeholders in public land transportation services for necessary action for fare rates,” the LTFRB said in a decision.

“Thus, the board had judiciously balanced the rights of the riding public … vis-à-vis the right of grantees of certificates of public convenience to a reasonable return of investment,” it said.

The decision was signed by LTFRB Chair Jaime Jacob and board member Samuel Garcia. Another board member Manuel Iway filed a dissenting opinion, saying that without financial statements to back up their claims, transport groups could not sufficiently prove the necessity of the fare increase.

Spare parts

Earlier, transport groups, led by 1-United Transport Koalisyon, asked the LTFRB for authority to raise fares by as much as P2.

However, the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) said a 50-centavo adjustment that would bring fares back to their 2009 levels was more appropriate.

“Fares were at P8.50 when the price of diesel was P52 per liter. Today, it’s just P48 per liter but the adjustment was still approved because the increase in prices of different spare parts was also taken into account,” said Transportation Secretary Mar Roxas.

If and when the price of diesel goes back to around P45 per liter from the current P48, minimum jeepney fares would be brought back down to P8 for the first four kilometers, both Roxas and Jacob said.

Temporary relief

Vigor Mendoza, 1-Utak chair, welcomed the increase in fares, but said this was nothing but a temporary relief for drivers and operators.

“We need more permanent solutions. If we can get that, we won’t even need to hike fares,” Mendoza said.

He said the government should fast-track its evaluation of proposals to provide financing for the conversion of jeepney engines so they can run on cheaper liquefied petroleum gas and other alternative fuels.

He said authorities should also crack down on “colorum” or unregistered public utility vehicles and other forms of “on-the-ground corruption” such as traffic enforcers who collect “kotong” or bribes.

LRT, MRT fares

Roxas also hinted at plans to raise fares at the Light Rail Transit (LRT) and Metro Rail Transit (MRT) to reduce government subsidies on the train lines.

“Our budget can still subsidize the MRT’s operations, but those resources are not inexhaustible,” he said.

Roxas declined to give a definite timetable on the fare hike, but assured commuters that they would be given proper notice “so they could adjust their budgets.”

He said the government would make sure that using the MRT and LRT would stay cheaper than using other forms of mass transport like buses.

Originally posted: 9:05 pm | Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

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Tags: 50-centavo fare increase , jeepney fares , Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board , Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) , LTFRB , minimum fares , MRT-LRT fares , Public Transport , public utility jeeps , transportation fare hikes

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/XY4AW6ZJBAPIJ33L7KX6M3IOQI c

    kelangan din magtipid kasi ang mga jeepney drivers—wag malakas magyosi at uminom, wag tumaya lagi sa lotto at karera, wag mag-drugs. AT wag din umasa lang sa pagdra-drive, imbes na tumambay tambay, magyosi, at magsugal habang wait sila passengers sa terminal, mag-engage dapat sa mga income-generating projects para ma-add sa kita nila. pwede sila help ng mga associations nila sa bagay na eto. ang alam lang ata kasi ng associations nila ay magpasimula ng mga strike pag may price increase, eh! (at yong price increase na yan di lang naman nangyayari yan kundi sa ibang bansa rin ano? di lang sa pinas, magisip naman sana ang mga drivers na eto.)

    on the other hand, to lessen the complaint of the jeepney drivers, need na talaga pag-aralan ang phasing out of most, if not all, of these jeeps. Some routes kasi parang sobra-sobra na ang jeep, pwede namang bigger public vehicles ang gamitin. If we lessen number of jeeps, we also lessen traffic, pollution, and road accidents.

    • dodong1

      kaya pala angal ng angal tong mga drivers na to na wala ng kinikita..

  • http://myplanetphilippines.com/ Philippines

    buti na at nilalakad ko na lang papasok sa office. Pero kawawa talaga ang mga commuters. magkano ba kinikita ng isang driver sa isang araw?

  • http://www.facebook.com/nlarcena Nicasio Jr Larcena

    kahit piso ang ibigay nyong fare increase hindi pa rin  makukuntento yang mga transport sektor…

  • http://www.facebook.com/nlarcena Nicasio Jr Larcena

    dahil mahal lahat ng bilihin…ang kawawa ang masang pilipino na iginigisa sa kanilang sariling mantika ng mga kusinerong kapitalista at gobyerno…

  • cervero

    so magkano sa estudyante? kase sa aking nakuha… 8.50 – [8.50* 0.20 (Students and senior citizens get 20% discount)] = 6.8 php per student or 7 php per student. Dapat sundin ito para di kawawa ang mga estudyante!

    • athena

      8.50 * 0.80 :)

  • BatangSingapore

    ang boss talaga ng Abnoy na pangulo ay yun mga Mayayaman at Negosyante,

    Ano tumaas ba sweldo ninyo kahit nagtataasan na lahat ng presyong dinidikta ng mga negosyante?



  • http://twitter.com/grandpaber mel bercel

    the fare hike does not really solve our economic problem. fare increase will result to another increase in some other areas. the gasoline increase causes a chain reaction of increases on many fundamental needs.

    the business of providing basic utilities is indeed business without risk and it is being controlled by the elite to the detriment of the poor. it is the right of the people to be accorded with these basic utilities but it should be a privilege for any enterprise to operate a basic utilities business. the privilege should be given only to those who are not profit motivated but to serving the people. a decent return of investment to the investor is normal but it should not be greedy. in business, there are times of plenty and times of lean but in this basic utilities business it is all the times a time of plenty and there are no times of lean. the profit should  be spread over the long span and not a segurista span, that is no longer business but taking advantage of situations. if tn the long span a loss or unsubstantial return of investment is not achieved,  then a fair increase is in order.

    my point is if the basic utilities prices are stable, all other goods and services become stable also, hence the economy is undisrupted. i urge the government to relook at regulating basic utilities prices (energy, water, bodies of water food resources, and the like) or better still nationalize these businesses and let good well paid pinoys, without political interference, run this businesses so that the profit, it there is any, is redistributed to the people. this is not communism but a socialistic approach (socio-economic) to our economic woes of which many poor are greatly  impacted negatively with the few elite benefitting of it.

  • jiroarturo

    $5 per gallon na pala ang gasolina sa Pinas. Malapit na rin ganyan pumatak ang gasolina sa States. Kawawa naman ang meron sasakyan. Mag lagay na lang kaya ng bicycle lane para ang mga tao mag bisekleta na lang. Sa Beijing nga ang daming nag bibisekleta. Mababawasan pa ang pollution at exercise pa.

  • Nic Legaspi

    Where is the planned increase in the capacity of our rail lines? Were the additional LRT projects bid out already?

    The government should prioritize the use of renewable energy sources and promote the widespread use of vehicles that use alternative energy so we can lessen our dependence on oil. This administration should set a date on when a percentage of our transport sector would not be dependent on fossil fuels, otherwise, we’re going nowhere. For the meantime, the government should mandate jeepney-makers to use newer, more efficient technologies in their products. Transport routes should be rewritten from scratch as to promote the most efficient way for people to get from point A to B. More efficient transport (maybe double-decker buses) should also be used in high-volume routes like EDSA. Other major urban centers/commercial districts should also have light rail lines that serve their area. We should stop dragging our feet when it comes to things like these, or we’ll definitely be left behind.

  • earlrichards

    The London Brent oil price dropped to $124 per barrel in the Singapore spot market, so why isn’t the oil price dropping in the Philippines?

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