DOTr says no to P3 fare hike sought by Pasang Masda | Inquirer News
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DOTr says no to P3 fare hike sought by Pasang Masda

/ 03:04 PM October 18, 2021

Cellophane plastic dividers offer little protection to public utility jeepney (PUJ) commuters in Makati. INQUIRER file photo / NIÑO JESUS ORBETA

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has rejected the call of Pasang Masda and other transport groups for a P3 increase in public transport fares to enable drivers and operators of public utility vehicles to cope with rising fuel prices.

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade cited the plight of commuters who might not be able to afford the P3-fare increase.

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“Naiintindihan namin ang sitwasyon ng ating mga drayber at tsuper, ngunit naiintindihan din namin ang hirap ng ating mga commuter. Alam naman natin na may ilan tayong kababayan na nawalan ng trabaho. Marami rin naman sa atin ang kababalik pa lamang sa trabaho. Ngayon pa lamang sila bumabawi, kaya sa aming pananaw ay hindi napapanahon na magpatupad ng fare increase,” he said in a statement on Monday.

(We understand the situation of our drivers, but we also understand the struggles of our commuters. We know that many of us just got our jobs back. They are still coping, that’s why for us, the fare increase is untimely.)

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“Balansehin ang pangangailangan ng mga drayber sa kakayanan ng mga pasahero ngayong pandemya. Kaya imbes na across the board increase, ayuda sa drayber at ayuda sa pasahero ang itutulak ng DOTr,” he  was also quoted  as saying during a meeting with the DOTr road sector also on Monday.

(Let’s balance the need of drivers and the capabilities of commuters amid the pandemic. So, instead of an across-the-board increase, aid for drivers and commuters will be pushed by DOTr.)

In another DOTr statement released on Monday evening, Transportation Assistant Secretary Mark Steven Pastor noted that the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) is studying the fare hike petition of transport groups to determine if a fare hike is necessary.

The DOTr and LTFRB have lodged a proposal before the Department of Energy (DOE) for public transport drivers to have a uniform discount in all gas stations across the country.

“Sumulat rin ang DOTr at LTFRB sa DOE upang magbigay ng suhestyon kung paano maiibsan ang epekto ng tuloy-tuloy na pagtaas ng presyo ng langis sa operasyon ng mga PUVs (public utility vehicles). Kasama dito ang pagbibigay ng fuel subsidy,” Tugade said.

(The DOTr and LTFRB wrote to the DOE to give a suggestion on how to alleviate the effect of the continuous oil price hike on PUVs. It includes the provision of fuel subsidy.)

The DOTr then encouraged drivers and operators to join the service contracting program wherein the government will pay them based on a per-kilometer run.

Earlier, these government agencies said they are studying the possible granting of cash or fuel subsidies to public transport operators and drivers amid the successive oil price hikes, which have spurred calls for a fare increase.

EDV/KGA

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TAGS: Department of Energy, Department of Transportation, DoE, DoTr, LTFRB, Oil price hike, operators, Public Transport, PUVs
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