MANILA, Philippines?Starting Dec. 15, the minimum jeepney fare will be cut by 50 centavos nationwide for a three-month period because of declining fuel prices, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) said Wednesday.
Bus fares are also being reduced, and the mandatory P10 tip for taxi drivers is being suspended for the next three months.
In Metro Manila, Central Luzon and Southern Tagalog, the minimum jeepney fares 11 days from now will be P7.50.
It was the second fare reduction for jeepneys (also 50 centavos) and buses (50 centavos to P1) since Nov. 5, practically restoring the fares for jeepneys and buses to their levels in February.
Fares for public utility vehicles were raised twice this year (50 centavos for jeepneys and P1 for buses in May, and the same amounts in July) because of soaring fuel prices.
In Metro Manila, the fare for ordinary buses starting the third week of December will be P9 for the first five kilometers and P1.85 for every succeeding kilometer.
The existing rate is P9.50 plus P1.95 per extra kilometer. The minimum fare used to be P10 for ordinary buses in Metro Manila.
Air-conditioned buses will maintain their minimum fare of P11 for the first five kilometers but will cut the rate for succeeding kilometers to P2.20 from P2.35.
In provincial routes, bus operators agreed to cut 5 centavos from the per-kilometer charge of ordinary (from P1.40 to P1.35) and air-con buses (from P1.70 to P1.65).
Last month, there was a 50-centavo reduction in the rates charged by ordinary provincial buses and P1 for air-con buses.
No need for matrix
LTFRB Chair Thompson Lantion said there would be no need for a new fare matrix because the fare reductions were provisional.
?Jeepney groups will simply post a copy of the LTFRB order with a temporary fare guide. We will review the rates in three months? time,? Lantion said after Wednesday?s marathon public hearings for jeepney, bus and taxi fares.
He said jeepney operators nationwide agreed to the second rollback because diesel had dropped to less than P35 a liter from a peak of P57.44 in August.
?With the reduction of diesel prices, the rollback of fares is inevitable,? said Alex Yague, spokesperson of the Metro Manila Bus Operators Association.
On Feb. 18, 2009, the LTFRB will gather transport groups and other stakeholders to discuss if jeepney fares and the add-on charge should be restored.
The add-on charge was implemented in July when the LTFRB approved a 50-centavo increase in the minimum fare for jeepneys and P1 for buses.
Lantion earlier said the P10 add-on fare for taxis was temporary and it could be scrapped by the LTFRB when gasoline and LPG prices go down significantly.