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