LTFRB denies appeal to halt fare hikes for jeepney, buses in Metro Manila
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Tuesday denied the appeal of a commuter’s group to stop the implementation of fare hikes for Metro Manila jeepneys and buses.
The LTFRB decision which denied the appeal filed by United Filipino Consumers and Commuters (UFCC) came three days before the original date of implementation of the P2 fare hike for jeepney and P1 fare increase on buses.
With the denial of the appeal, the implementation of the fare hikes will proceed starting Nov. 3.
The decision denying the appeal was signed by LTFRB chairman Atty. Martin Delgra and board member Ronaldo Corpus. Board member Aileen Lizada was the lone dissenter.
According to the decision, the petitioner “failed to present new issues for the Board to reconsider its earlier findings.”
The appeal was filed last October 23, as the UFCC argued that the fare hike was “unfortunate for millions of people.”
The call of the group came after the LTFRB consequently approved the P2 fare increase for jeepneys and P1 fare increase earlier this month.
Lizada, in her dissenting opinion, said the board should base their decision on fare hike petitions on the guidance provided by the National Economic and Development Authority.
“This office should be the refuge of those who have less in life. This Board owes them a judicious and thorough procedure where everyone is given an opportunity to be heard and not bar them by mere technicalities,” Lizada said.
She also urged the Board to give the complainants “ample time” to be heard in a hearing.
However, in his supplemental concurring opinion, Delgra said the commuter groups were given opportunities to discuss their fake hike petition.
He said that the Board conducted at least eight hearings regarding the jeepney fare hike petition, which was attended by oppositor, Arlis Acao.
“To say that ‘we owe our stakeholders more than just a 32 minute and 40 second discussion on a very important matter that affect public interests,’ is regrettably to trivialize the entire honorable and serious proceeding the Board has collectively undertaken,” Delgra said. /muf
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