Transport groups asked to justify proposed P2 fare hike

MANILA — The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) urged jeepney transport groups to explain the reason for the granting of a PHP2 jeepney fare hike in Metro Manila as well as in Central and Southern Luzon regions.

LTFRB has deferred the jeepney fare increase and asked transport groups to submit supporting documents on their petition.

The Federation of Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines (FEJODAP), Alliance of Concerned Transport Organizations (ACTO), Liga ng Transport Operator ng Pilipinas (LTOP), Alliance Transport Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines (ALTODAP) and Pangkalahatang Sanggunian Manila and Suburbs Drivers Association (PASANG MASDA) are asking the Board that the jeepney fare be increased from PHP8 to PHP10 for the first four kilometers in the National Capital Region as well as Regions 3 and 4.

LTFRB wants to thoroughly study the matter considering its impact on commuters, LTFRB Board Member and spokesperson Aileen Lizada.

“The transport groups need to substantiate the basis why the fare hike should be increased by PHP 2. This has a social impact nationwide and it has to be studied well. We also need to hear the side of the commuters as well,” Lizada said in an interview with reporters after its hearing on the fare hike petition Wednesday.

The LTFRB likewise reminded transport groups to maintain the cleanliness of jeepneys, ensure good hygiene and discipline of drivers and they must attend the Drivers’ Academy to improve the quality of services to the commuters.

The estimated number of public utility jeepneys (PUJs) nationwide is at 200,000 which serve around 3.2 million passengers, Lizada said.

For its part, the transport groups explained that the jeepney fare hike is necessary due to the series of increases in the prices of petroleum and spare parts as well as other operational costs to drivers and operators.

“A jeepney driver’s take home pay daily is PHP200,” FEJODAP President Zenaida “Zeny” Maranan said in a press conference held in Quezon City.

“The PHP2 fare hike will help drivers who are traversing short routes. We leave it up for the LTFRB to decide on our petition,” Maranan added.

Meanwhile, PASANG MASDA President Obet Martin said its fare hike perition is still negotiable and is still up to the decision of the LTFRB.

“The income of the jeepney drivers is really affected by the increase in the prices of oil and spare parts. The PHP2 fare hike is some sort of a leverage for the operators and drivers,” Martin explained.

The transport groups assured that they will submit the necessary documents that will justify the increase in jeepney fares.

The LTFRB has scheduled its next hearing on October 24. Aerol John Pateña/