‘Cut PUJ fare to P6, taxi flagdown to P30’By Jhunnex Napallacan
Cebu Daily News
A consumer group yesterday filed a petition for a fare rollback of about P1.50 in the minimum fare for jeepneys and P10 for the flagdown rate of taxis.
The Consumer’s Rights for Economic Welfare Inc (CREW) through its president Vic Sapio asked the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) 7 to implement the rollback amid the series of oil price cuts in the past weeks.
“As a consequence of the series of oil price rollbacks, it’s reasonable for us now to request the LTFRB board to bring down the fare for PUJs and buses to a level commensurate to the amount of oil price reductions, thus reducing the present minimum rate of P7.50 to P6, which will cause a tremendous impact not only on the cost of basic commodities but also on the living conditions of the marginalized and poor sectors of our society”, Sapio said in his petition addressed to LTFRB 7 Director Ahmed Cuizon.
Cuizon, however, said that he couldn’t incorporate the fare for buses in the petition because buses and jeepneys had separate minimum fare.
He urged CREW to file a separate petition for buses, which has a minimum fare of P8.50.
In the petition, Sapio asked for a rollback of the flagdown rate of taxis from the current P40 to the previous P30.
He said the succeeding charges for distance travelled should be continued to avoid the tedious process of recalibrating the taxi meters, which might hamper their operations.
Cuizon said the petition was forwarded to the LTFRB Central office in Manila as ordered by LTFRB board member Manuel Iway.
Cuizon said the board scheduled the public hearing for the petition on July 5 at 9 a.m. at the central office.
Cuizon said aside from Region 7, there were also petitions from other regions and the board was consolidating these petitions.
Ryan Benjamin Yu, chairman of the Cebu Integrated Transport Services Cooperative (Citrasco), said his group would not oppose the fare rollback petition but it would oppose the P1.50 amount being sought.
Yu said Citrasco would only agree to a 50 centavo cut in the minimum fare of P7 from the current P7.50 based on the actual diesel price.
Yu said that the P1.50 fare cut would mean that the minimum fare would be P6 from P7.50.
Yu said the consumer group should take note that the LTFRB implemented the P6 fare in 2003 or 2004 where the price of diesel then was between P25 and P28 per liter.
He said although the diesel price cut had reached almost P10 per liter but the price was still between P39 and P40 per liter from a high of around P48 per liter.
He also said that the price of diesel was only one aspect of the transport group’s operation, there’s also the increasing prices of spare parts to consider.
On the proposed cuts on taxi fare, Yu said he would consult taxi operators’ groups.
He said that he was okay with the P10 reduction but it should only be provisional so that if the prices of liquified petroleum gas (LPG) would increase again it would be easy to raise the flagdown rate to P40 again.