DOTr to ask LTFRB to review jeepney fare hike
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) will ask the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to review the recent fare increase for public utility jeepneys (PUJs).
The latest fare adjustment pegs the minimum fare at P10 in the National Capital Region, Region 3, and Region 4.
A commuter’s group appeal to stop the increase was denied, according to the transport agency.
“We will recommend for the LTFRB to review the fare increase,” Road Transport Officer-In-Charge Undersecretary Mark De Leon said in a statement on Wednesday.
“In the meantime, however, since there is already a decision, LTFRB can still implement the increase, pending the review,” he added.
In a press briefing earlier, DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said fare increases should be based on a pre-determined matrix, which serves as clear guidelines when fares should be increased or lowered.
The DOTr also said that it will instruct the LTFRB to come up with a parametric formula so that fare adjustments will become automatic rather than rely on petitions.
“Ayoko yung estado o situation na kung saan kapag may request for increase, meeting, discussion, deliberation. That takes time,’ Tugade said.
(I do not like this situation when a request for increase is submitted, meetings, discussions and deliberations follow. That takes time.)
“Baka ‘pag dating ng panahon na approved na yan, the situation that existed when you were asking for a fare increase is no longer there. Kaya nga, kailangan ang arrangement mo is pre-determined matrix,” he added.
(By the time the request is approved, the situation may have changed. So there is a need for a pre-determined matrix.)
Tugade cited the matrix used in the air sector as an example.
In the air sector’s matrix, rate adjustments for fuel surcharges are based on the price of fuel per barrel and the consumer price index, he noted.
“Ang presyo ng gasoline, pag tumaas per barrel, or yung consumer price index tumaas per barrel, magtaas ka at a certain amount. Pag bumaba, automatic ibaba mo rin. Pag hindi ka sumunod, may penalty,” Tugade said.
(When the price per barrel of gasoline or the consumer price index goes up, you raise prices by a certain amount. If it goes down, prices should also automatically go down. If you you don’t follow the rules, then there is a corresponding penalty.)
The transportation chief added that the matrix, not the petition, will be subject to discussions and deliberations.
“That matrix is not unilateral, that is the one subject to hearing. Pag nag agree yan, smooth sailing na po,” he said.
The LTFRB will implement the fare hike starting November 2 pending review.
The implementation was initially set on November 3 but was later changed to November 2. /ee
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