LTFRB: It takes time to consider petitions
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) said on Wednesday that it could not act quickly on the petitions of transport groups for a fare hike amid rising fuel prices as there were a lot to review.
“We cannot act immediately because their request for a fare increase is not unanimous, so we will be forced to listen to all of them in order to decide what the fare increase really should be,” LTFRB Chair Teofilo Guadiz III told reporters in a briefing.
Several transport groups earlier sought a P1 “rush hour” fare hike which the LTFRB set aside to accommodate a new P2 fare increase request filed jointly by Liga ng Transportasyon at Operators sa Pilipinas, Pagkakaisa ng mga Tsuper at Operators Nationwide, Stop & Go Transport Coalition and the Federation of Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines.
On Tuesday, Pasang Masda, Altodap and ACTO filed their own petition seeking a P5 passenger jeep fare increase for the first 4 kilometers. Should it be approved, the minimum fare would go up from P12 to P17, on top of an additional P1 for the succeeding kilometer. They also asked the LTFRB to grant a provisional fare hike of P1 while their petition was being heard.
“If they had only one voice, it would be easier to make a decision because whatever they demand, that’s all we will process and pay attention to,” Guadiz said.
He added that because of the separate appeals, they would be forced to study each request and it would take time for them to come up with a new fare matrix which would then need to be submitted to the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda).
Guadiz stressed that the LTFRB has to consult with Neda because fare hikes could affect the economy and result in inflation.
“If you notice, every time [there is a fare increase], everything goes up; the price of goods and even workers’ salaries are affected,” he said.
The LTFRB has scheduled a board meeting on Aug. 29 to discuss the proposed provisional P1 fare increase while the other petition seeking a P5 fare hike would be heard on Sept. 12, according to LTFRB Executive Director Robert Peig.