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Commuters group to oppose surge pricing on public utility jeepneys

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, May 17th, 2018



Public Utility Jeepney. FILE PHOTO: Rolito Ponte / Photoville International


QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The National Council for Commuters Safety and Protection (NCCSP) plans to file a petition seeking to oppose jeepney operators’ proposal for surge pricing.

The group argued that such request is unfair and inappropriate at this time when they are petitioning for a P2.00 fare hike. They also claimed that such petition will only add weight to the burden of commuters.

“Malaki pa rin iyong piso tapos meron ka pang price hike na two pesos so magiging 11 pesos pagsakay mo ng jeepney,” said Maricor Akol, the commuter group’s president.

Some commuters expressed dismay over the proposal saying they are still coping with the effects of the Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion Law (TRAIN.)

“Iniisip ko masakit sa bulsa,” said commuter Rommel Godines.

“Hindi po makatarungan…Hindi naman namin kasalanan iyon,” another commuter Glenn Buenaflor said.

Jeepney operators submitted to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) a petition to impose surge pricing similar to transport network vehicle services (TNVs.) This would mean an additional one peso for each succeeding kilometer during peak hours from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Such petition, according to jeepney operators, is due to big time price hikes on oil products in the country. Just this week, prices of petroleum products spiked to more than one peso per liter.

On the other hand, the Department of Energy (DOE) believes oil prices will become stable in the coming days and months as a number of world events are now affecting the oil prices in the global market.

“On a very short term may effect talaga so ang perspective na sinasabi namin re-recover yan so the price will balance again, pwedeng in the near future din pwedeng may mangyaring supply na kapalit at maibaba rin naman ang price,” sai Atty.Rino Abad, DOE’s Director of Oil Management Bureau.

Meanwhile, a consumers’ group argued that it is only the suspension of the TRAIN law that the public would be eased of additional burden.

According to Laban Konsyumer President Vic Dimagiba, there is a surge in prices of basic commodities because of added excise tax.

“Lalo mong pinabigat ang pasanin ng mga consumer dahil nagpataw ang TRAIN ng mataas na excise taxes. Kung wala iyang excise tax, hindi ganoon kalaki ang impact sa mga presyo ng mga bilihin,” Dimagiba said.

LTFRB is yet to set a schedule to deliberate on the petition for surge pricing by jeepney operators. – Mon Jocson / Marje Pelayo

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Rush hour ban on buses to start Aug 15, total ban soon

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, August 9th, 2018

MANILA, Philippines — Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) General Manager Jose Arturo said a total ban of provincial buses on EDSA is unlikely for now based on the current state of the Valenzuela Interim Terminal.

Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian joined MMDA and Land Transportation and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) officials at the inspection of Valenzuela Interim Terminal to assess if it can operate as a station for provincial buses starting August 15.

Aside from the ongoing construction works inside the terminal, MMDA noted several issues that need to be addressed.

Among these are the establishment of designated areas for provincial and city buses; management of queues for jeepneys, buses and UV Express vans that share the terminal; and completion of waiting sheds for passengers.

The MMDA has directed the Valenzuela City government to fast track the completion of the interim terminal within a month.

Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian said, “Give us a little bit more time. Di naman matagal na matagal, para maiayos lang yung terminal condition at tsaka yung mga sasalo na vehicles.”

Nevertheless, the MMDA will still implement on August 15 the ban of provincial buses on EDSA during rush hours.

This means that starting August 15, MMDA personnel will begin apprehending provincial buses on EDSA from 7am to 10am and 6pm to 9pm. Violators of the ordinance will be fined P2,000.

MMDA General Manager Jose Arturo Garcia said, “Yung dry run natin na kapag ang bus galing ng north, hanggang Cubao lang sila. Kapag galing south, hanggang Pasay. Pinahinga lang natin yung Cubao to Magallanes kasi ginagawa yung Shaw Boulevard.”

The Provincial Bus Operators Association has previously voiced opposition to the policy but they admit that they can do nothing if the MMDA will implement it.  — Joan Nano

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Ride-hailing company Hype denies charging P2 per min travel time

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, July 24th, 2018


MANILA, Philippines — Hype Transport Systems Incorporated insists that they do not charge passengers P2.00 per minute of travel time.

“Hindi kami nag-implement ng P2.00. Dinedeny namin yan (We do not implement a P2.00 charge. We deny it),” said Hype president, Nicanor Escalante.

Hype is among the latest transport network companies that received accreditation form the Land Transportation Franchising And Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to give TNVS (transport network vehicle service) patrons more options.

On July 18, the LTFRB issued a show cause order against Hype allegedly charging P2.00 per minute of travel time.

During its hearing with the Board earlier today, the company admitted to charging P1.25 per minute of travel time and not P2.00.

Hype said it was way back in May when they wrote to LTFRB seeking approval for the P2.00 travel time charge.

Under the approved fare structure, a flag down rate is imposed by ride hailing services depending on the type of vehicle.

It also includes an additional rate of P14.00 per kilometer of travel and surge pricing of up to two times the fare.

However, the structure prohibits the per minute travel time charges.

“Yung original approval namin did not include the per minute charge dahil we always wanted to emphasize affordability of fare to the riding public,” said Escalante. “Ganun pa man when we were already trying to get onboard TNVS operators and drivers there was some resistance from them to join us because of the absence of the P2.00 per minute travel time charge.”

The LTFRB wants to look at the fare structure of Hype again and has set another hearing on August 15.

Despite complaints about its higher fares, Hype contends that their fares are reasonably priced. — Joan Nano | UNTV News & Rescue

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Commuters’ group to support P1.00 jeepney fare hike

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, May 30th, 2018




MANILA, Philippines — The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Tuesday reset its hearing on the petition of some jeepney groups seeking to increase fare by two pesos.

The Pasang Masda group said confusion ensued when other groups requested to increase fare by four pesos, bringing the minimum fare to 12 pesos.

“Itong mga delay na ito, it’s not on our own. On the record, sila palagi ang nagre-request. Nasa case folder po. It’s either kulang ebidensya nila, hindi handa ang lawyer nila, magme-meeting pa sila or they are working on their papers,” said LTFRB board member Atty. Aileen Lizada.

(These delays, it’s not on our own. On the record, they are the ones who would often request for it; it’s in the case folder. It’s either because of incomplete evidence or their lawyer is not yet ready; or they still need to talk about it; or they are still consolidating documents.)

But according to Maricor Akol of the National Center for Commuters Safety and Protection (NCCP), they are willing to support the fare hike petition to help out drivers amid surging fuel prices, however, it should not reach P2.

“Naiintindihan namin ang plight ng mga driver at ng mga operators, so the commuters are willing to go on a price increase in the base price of one peso,” said NCCP Maricor Akol.

(We understand the plight of the drivers and operators, so the commuters are willing to go on a price increase in the base price of one peso.)

Akol also urged the government to grant subsidy to jeepney drivers.

“Kasi meron naman tayong mga energy tax, road users tax, saan napupunta iyon? Nakikita natin minsan ang mga kalye hindi naman sira, sinisira nila. Bakit hindi na lang ibigay ang subsidy doon sa mga public transport,” said the NCCP president.

(Because we have energy tax, road users tax, where do these taxes go? We see some roads being repaired even though they are not damaged — why? Why don’t they use the money to subsidize public transport?)

But Obet Martin of Pasang Masda argued that the one-peso increase is not enough to help them cope with the impact of rising fuel prices.

“Gawin nating 2 pesos para naman kung bumaba naman ang presyo, kami naman ay magbo-voluntary reduction ng fare. Give and take situation lang,” said Pasang Masda President Obet Martin.

(We should just hike it to P2.00 because once the price normalizes, we will voluntarily reduce the fare. It’s a give and take situation.)

The LTFRB, meanwhile, assured to look into the basis of the petition as it will affect roughly three million commuters population once it has been approved.

The hearing has been rescheduled to June 13. — Joan Nano | UNTV News & Rescue


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