Gov’t grants PUVs fare hikes

Effective Oct. 3 with seniors, students, PWDs still getting 20% discount

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Friday granted a P1 fare increase for traditional and modern jeepneys, pushing the minimum fare on these public utility vehicles (PUVs) to P12 and P14, respectively.

Buses, meanwhile, will get a P2 fare increase, as the minimum fare for ordinary buses is now P13 and P15 for air-conditioned ones after the board granted the petitions of several transport groups.

The LTFRB also raised the flagdown rates of taxis and sedan-type transport network vehicle service (TNVS) such as Grab taxis by P5 to a minimum of P45.

The new fare rates will become effective on the first Monday of October, or Oct. 3, the LTFRB said in a statement, and come amid successive oil price increases and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which disrupted global oil markets.

The LTFRB said the 20% discount for senior citizens, persons with disability (PWDs), and students will still be effective.

While PUV drivers and transport groups welcomed the increased fares, they also insisted taxes on fuel products must be scrapped, and wages for all workers, not just commuters, are raised.

“Drivers deserve more income now that oil prices are still high. But in times of crisis, it’s not just drivers who suffer,” the group PISTON said in a statement.

“The majority will benefit if the Excise Tax and VAT on oil are immediately scrapped and the wages of the workers who mostly pour into the commuters are increased!” it added.

The militant League of Filipino Students criticized the fare increase, stating that it “is only passing the burden of high oil prices on commuters instead of taking government action to support our drivers and the transportation sector.”

Ivan Sucgang, National Chairperson of LFS, echoed the PISTON call to scrap the excise tax and VAT on oil products, as well as the Oil Deregulation Law so that government could control oil prices “instead of letting corporations raise the prices as they please.”

Although the fare increase will help ease the transport groups’ problems, commuters may not be able to afford the fare hikes, Sucgang said, calling on the government to stop pitting the drivers’ and passengers’ interests against each other.

“In the decision released by the Board today, a P1 provisional increase was approved for TPUJ (traditional public utility jeepneys) and MPUJ (modern PUJs) for the first four (4) kilometers,” the LTFRB said.

“Upon effectivity of the decision, the minimum fare for Taxis and Sedan-type TNVS will be P45, while AUV/SUV-type TNVS will be at P55,” it said.

“For hatchback-type TNVS, flagdown rate will be P35. There will be no increase in the succeeding kilometers,” the LTFRB said in a statement.

There will also be an additional fare of P0.30 per succeeding kilometer for traditional PUJs, while an additional P0.40 per succeeding kilometer will be implemented for modern PUJs.

Based on the increase, the fare for the succeeding kilometer run for TPUJs will be P1.80 from the current P1.50, while for MPUJ will be P2.20 from P1.80.

For buses, the operators asked for P4 to P7 base fare hikes and per succeeding kilometer rate ranging from P0.45 to P 1.20. However, the Board only approved a P2 uniformed base fare increase for the city and provincial buses for the first 5 kilometers, and the succeeding kilometer fare increase of P0.35 to P0.50 depending on the type of bus.

LTFRB earlier said that the agency recognized the need for a fare increase following the continuing rise of oil prices and consulted the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) and the Department of Energy (DOE) on the matter.

In the decision released by LTFRB, the agency conducted a study thru its Franchise Planning and Monitoring Division (FPMD).

The FPMD used the fare adjustment formula based on Memorandum Circular 2019-035, the opinion of different stakeholders, the increasing operational cost of PUVs, and the opinion of the NEDA.

“Moving forward, the LTFRB would like to remind drivers to follow the guidelines and policies of the agency and adhere to public health safety protocols. Violations will be dealt with accordingly,” it said.

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