Provisional jeepney fare hike likely by year-end, says LTFRB
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Wednesday confirmed that it would approve a provisional jeepney fare increase before the end of the year because of the continuous price hikes of petroleum products.
“We have to consult Neda (National Economic and Development Authority) if it will be a P1 or 50-centavo [fare hike], but definitely there will be a provisional increase,” LTFRB Chair Teofilo Guadiz III told reporters. He noted that they are still studying how much and when the fare increase should be implemented.
The agency will hold a hearing on Sept. 26 with transport groups so they could consolidate their fare hike petitions.
Guadiz earlier said they could not quickly act on the petitions because their requests for fare increase were not unanimous. Some transport groups previously sought a P1 “rush hour” fare hike, which was set aside by the LTFRB to consider a new P2 fare increase petition filed jointly by Liga ng Transportasyon at Operators sa Pilipinas, Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Operators Nationwide, Stop & Go Transport Coalition and the Federation of Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines.
Pasang Masda, Alliance of Transport Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines and Alliance of Concerned Transport Organization, on the other hand, submitted their own petition requesting a P5 passenger jeep fare hike for the first 4 kilometers.
Aside from the fare hike, the transport groups also appealed to the LTFRB to grant an urgent provisional fare hike of P1 while their petition was being heard.
Guadiz acknowledged the necessity of the fare hike, but emphasized that the agency also needs to ensure that it will “not send the economy into an inflation.”
“We are balancing the needs of the entire country. That when we raise the fare price, it will have a big impact on the economy and will raise almost all prices,” he said.
Also on Wednesday, the LTFRB began the distribution of the P3-billion fuel subsidy to around 1.36 million operators of public utility vehicles (PUVs) to help them cope with the oil price hikes.
Operators of modern jeepneys and UV express vans are entitled to a P10,000 subsidy while operators of other PUVs, whether modern or not, will get P6,500.
Meanwhile, qualified delivery service riders will receive P1,200 with the help of the Department of Information and Communication Technology and the Department of Trade and Industry, while tricycle drivers will get P1,000 through the supervision of the Department of the Interior and Local Government.
According to the LTFRB, the cash aid will be distributed via digital banking, or through the e-wallet accounts, bank accounts, and fuel subsidy cards of the registered beneficiaries.