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Jeepney drivers in Panay seek P12 minimum fare

Drivers of public utility jeepneys in Iloilo province and other areas on Panay Island are seeking a P5.50 increase in the minimum fare due to high prices of diesel and other oil products. —INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

ILOILO CITY—Transport groups on Panay Island are seeing a minimum fare of P12 for public utility jeepneys due to increased oil prices after additional taxes were imposed on fuel products.

The Iloilo City Alliance of Jeepney Owners and Drivers Association (Iclajoda), Iloilo City Alliance of Drivers and Operators Association, and Confederation of Ilolo Provincial Jeepney Owners and Drivers Association have filed a petition in the Western Visayas regional office of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) seeking a P5.50 increase in the minimum fare, from the current P6.50.

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TRAIN impact

Raymundo Parcon, Iclajoda president, said the increase was necessary for drivers and operators to cope with the continued increase in the price of oil products and the implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act.

Under TRAIN, the centerpiece tax reform law of the Duterte administration, an additional excise tax of P2.50 per liter will be added to diesel, which is used public jeepneys.

Parcon said higher oil prices had significantly reduced the income of jeepney drivers—from the previous P350 to P500 daily earnings, to the current P250 to P300 a day.

He said jeepney operators had also increased rental fees due to higher prices of spare parts and maintenance costs.

“Jeepney drivers and operators are reeling from higher costs, especially because of the new taxes. We have no choice if we still want our drivers to bring food to their families,” he told the Inquirer.

Fare hike petition

Edgar Salarda, coordinator of the Pinag-Isang Samahan nga mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide in Panay, said even before the new excise taxes under TRAIN were imposed, his group had already filed a petition in the LTFRB seeking a minimum fare of P8.

He said their petition was filed when the price of diesel was at P34 per liter. Current prices are hovering around P40 per liter, he said.

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“We will seek a minimum fare of P9 because we are also considering the capacity of minimum wage earners to shoulder the increase in transportation fare,” Salarda said.

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TAGS: jeepney drivers, Transport groups
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