Petition seeks to stop jeepney, bus fare hikes | Inquirer News
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NOV. 3 IMPLEMENTATION

Petition seeks to stop jeepney, bus fare hikes

/ 07:23 AM October 24, 2018

The recently approved increases in jeepney and bus fares, which are expected to roll out on Nov. 3, face a legal roadblock after a commuters’ group on Tuesday petitioned the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to suspend their implementation.

LTFRB officials set last week the new P10 minimum fare for jeepneys plying routes in Metro Manila, Calabarzon and Central Luzon and P11 minimum fare for city buses.

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It remains unclear whether the increases might be suspended pending the resolution of the petition filed by citizen Arlis Acao and the United Filipino Consumers and Commuters through its representative, Rodolfo Javellana.

LTFRB Chair Martin Delgra III said the board would have to hear the motion.

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The lone dissenter to the fare increases, board member Aileen Lizada, earlier said these could be stayed if someone filed an appeal within the next 15 days after publication.

In their appeal, Acao and Javellana argued that the adjustments were “unfair and unjust” to the millions of Filipinos already buckling under the weight of soaring prices of basic goods.

They said jeepney and bus drivers were already earning more than the basic pay of P512 in Metro Manila.

Zeny Maranan, president of Federation of Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines, earlier estimated the net earnings of drivers at only P300 a day.

Maranan is one of the four transport leaders who filed the original petition to increase jeepney minimum fares to P12.

Most riders jobless, students

“It’s not right to pass on the buck to the riding public,” Javellana said in an interview. “It is clear that [the decision to approve the fare hikes] was merely reactionary to the volley of oil price increases for nine consecutive weeks.”

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Most of the riders, he said, were either jobless or financially dependent students, senior citizens and people with disabilities.

Javellana criticized the “lack of economic direction” by both Congress and the National Economic and Development Authority to protect consumers from runaway inflation, which led to a “domino effect” of price increases. Inflation reached 6.7 percent in September.

“When (the Palace) tells its people to just bear with it,” he said, “what they don’t understand is that the public can no longer take it.”

He was referring to Palace spokesperson Salvador Panelo’s recent comment for the public to simply “bear the brunt” of the fare increases.

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TAGS: Aileen Lizada, Arlis Acao, bus fare hike, jeepney fare hike, LTFRB, Martin Delgra III, Rodolfo Javellana, United Filipino Consumers and Commuters
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