Cebu consumers want P1.50 rollback on jeepney faresBy Jhunnex Napallacan
CEBU CITY—A consumer group in Cebu has joined the nationwide clamor to reduce the fare of public utility vehicles in the wake of the series of oil price rollbacks.
The Consumer’s Rights for Economic Welfare Inc. (Crew) filed a petition before the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board in Central Visayas (LTFRB-7) to reduce the minimum jeepney fare by P1.50 or from P7.50 to P6.
The Crew also asked the LTFRB-7 to return the old flagdown rate of taxis to P30 from the present P40 or a reduction of P10. The group didn’t ask that the rate for succeeding meters be slashed also.
Crew president Vic Sapio said a fare rollback would have tremendous impact on the cost of basic commodities.
Ahmed Cuizon, LTFRB-7 director, said his office immediately forwarded the petition to the LTFRB Central office in Manila as ordered by LTFRB board member Manuel Iway.
Cuizon said the LTFRB wanted to consolidate all the petitions for the fare rollback because the clamor was not only confined to Central Visayas composed of the provinces of Cebu, Bohol, Negros Oriental and Siquijor.
The LTFRB board initially scheduled the public hearing on the petition on July 5 at 9 a.m. at LTFRB Central office based in Cebu City, he added.
Ryan Benjamin Yu, chair of the Cebu Integrated Transport Services Cooperative (Citrasco), said his group does not oppose a fare rollback. But Yu said they would object if the minimum fare for passenger jeepneys would be reduced by P1.50 since the amount was too big.
Yu said his group would only agree to a 50-centavo rollback from P7.50 to P7.
But most drivers of passenger jeepneys in Cebu still collect P8, claiming that they don’t have a change of 50 centavos. There are few who collect P7.
Yu said the LTFRB pegged the minimum fare at P6 in 2003 or 2004 when the price of diesel was between P25 and P28 per liter. At present, the diesel price is from P39 to P40 per liter.
He, however, pointed out that prices of automotive spare parts continued to increase.