Cebu bus owners set to charge P8 fare rate | Inquirer News

Cebu bus owners set to charge P8 fare rate

For years, Cebu bus operators have been charging less than the official fare  because  tight competition forced rates to stay low.

Not anymore.

Starting next week, the fare will go up to P8 instead of the current P6 for the first five kilometers.


An  additional P1.40 for every succeeding kilometer will be collected instead of P1.20.


This was agreed in yesterday’s  closed door meeting between  bus operators and Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia.

The impact will be felt mostly among residents in Cebu’s rural areas where buses are the main form of public transportation to and from  far-flung towns.

Julito Flores, president of the Cebu South Mini Bus Operator Association, said the fare increase was needed because diesel prices are now  P48 per liter compared with P38 last year.

He said operators will sign a memorandum of agreement on Monday to implement the new rate.

Governor Garcia welcomed the move of bus operators: “That’s what’s so good about Cebu.  Tinabangay tang tanan.  (We all help each other.”

The increase will take effect just before an expected surge of bus trips to the province for the Holy Week in early April.


While the authorized fare of P8 was previously granted by the Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB), Cebu bus operators  forged an agreement  last year with the Board’s consent  to implement a uniform P6 minimum fare and P1.20 for every succeeding kilometer  effective March 25, 2011.

The pact served to do away with cutthroat competition among bus operators, which were  collecting even lower rates which encouraged  drivers to resort to overspeeding and reckless driving  on the road to meet boundary quotas.

This development came as confusion ensued over the insistence of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board in Central Visayas (LTFRB-7) to for passenger jeepneys to secure certification so they can charge an P8 fare rate.

The LTFRB-7 said there were no  problems reported in in yesterday’s start of the P8 fare rate for passenger jeepneys.

But some confusion ensued after the office insisted that  jeepney operators pay P50 for a certification from the agency.

LTFRB-7 Regional Director Ahmed Cuizon said 50 certifications were issued to  give provisional authority for jeepneys to charge P8 to their passengers.

By 10:15 a.m., he was advised by the central office in Manila that the certification was not necessary since the increase was  provisional or temporary  and could be removed once  diesel prices go down to P45 a liter.

Cuizon advised those who already paid for the certifications to deduct the P50 cost from their franchise payments.

Jeepney driver Antonio Aleguiojo said the fuel price increase reduced his income from P800 to P300.

Aleguiojo, a resident of barangay Lahug, Cebu City, said he pays P600 rent per day for the jeepney and spends at least P800 for fuel. He is married with three children.

Another driver, 29-year-old Jimmy Alcaya, said he pays P750 in rent a day and earns as much as P300 a day.

A 38-year-old driver, Leon Hingoyon, said he pays more than P1,000 a day for fuel alone.

Utility worker named Antonio Tendon, of Barangay Gun-ob, Lapu-Lapu City and 20-year-old college student Ronelyn Brigoli voiced dismay over the fare increase, with Brigoli saying President Aquino should find a way to lower diesel prices.

Some Capitol employees like Ismael Rosal, administrative aide to the office of the governor, said a 50 centavo increase is better than a proposed P1 fare hike.

He said he already spends P64 as bus fare from Naga City to Cebu City and back again.

A 29-year-old working student named Thammy Mantalubos dropped plans to pursue a summer class on Information Technology (IT) due to rising fare rates.

Mantalubos spends P42 a day travelling from his boarding house in Pakna-an, Mandaue City to Consolacion College in Laray Consolacion town everyday. After school he works as a company driver in Jagobiao.

He said half of his P100 daily budget is spent on fare with the other half for food.

“I only earn P7,000 monthly. Half of it goes to my family in Iloilo City while the rest is for me to divide for lodging, food, fare, and school,” Mantalubos said.

Daisy Apostol, a resident of Consolacion town who works as cook in an eatery in Mandaue City, said the provisional increase doesn’t mean anything since she pays P8.00 fare.

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But she sees a problem if a P1 fare rate increase is approved. “I might probably end up walking my way to and from work everyday,” Apostol said. With Correspondents Carine M. Asutilla and Norman V. Mendoza

TAGS: buses

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