Fare increases for all modes of land transport loom

The outgoing Duterte government is now studying the petitions for a fare increase for jeepneys, transport network vehicle services (TNVS), and buses, an official of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) said Wednesday.

‘TIGIL PASADA.’ At least 10 jeepney drivers belonging to the Paco-Nagtahan Jeepney Drivers Association have decided to stop plying their route on Wednesday, June 22, 2022, due to skyrocketing prices of oil and petroleum products. Danny Pata

This developed as LTFRB Executive Director Kristina Cassion said the agency has yet to receive any fare hike petition from taxi operators, contrary to their claim, and is “bothered” by it even if their office has yet to get any formal petition from taxi groups.

At the Laging Handa public briefing, Cassion was asked about the petition to increase the minimum fare in jeepneys to P14 or P15, replying: “The board is considering in balancing interests, first, the economic viability of our operators amid the rising cost of fuel.”

“Of course, on the side of the commuters, because the burden would be passed on them, (the question) is their capacity to pay,” she added.

Cassion said the decision of the board will also consider the possible effect on inflation if fares are raised.

On June 8, the LTFRB approved a P1 provisional increase on the minimum fare of public utility jeepneys, pushing the minimum fare to P10.

For TNVS, Grab petitioned for the LTFRB to increase its flag-down fare by around P20.

Meanwhile, city and provincial bus operators also requested a P4 to P7 increase that would push the minimum fare to P15 to P20.

In a television interview, Cassion clarified the LTFRB has not received any formal petition from taxi drivers, adding the decision on the petition of jeepney and TNVS operators will be finalized after their final hearings on June 28 and 29, respectively.

“We are bothered because (taxi drivers) have been saying that they filed a petition as early as March but we are tracing in our Legal department—we have yet to receive anything,” she said.

“There was news that they will file a petition but they said they were only appealing. Until now, we have yet to receive any official appeal from our taxi operators,” Cassion added.

Amid rising oil prices, taxi groups last week appealed for a P20 provisional fare increase in their flagdown rate, but Cassion said the LTFRB cannot take any action “without any petitions for fare hike” from them.

“We are a quasi-judicial body, so they need to file a petition first before our board can act,” she said. Rio N. Araja

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