Transport groups petition for ₱2 minimum jeepney fare hike

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 19) — Five transport groups petitioned the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Tuesday to raise the fare for the first four kilometers of a jeepney ride from ₱8 to ₱10.

The groups, representing around 575,000 jeepney drivers and operators nationwide, include:

  • The Federation of Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines (FEJODAP)
  • Pasang Masda
  • Liga ng mga Tsuper at Operator sa Pilipinas (LTOP)
  • Alliance of Concerned Transport Organizations (ACTO)
  • Alliance of Transport Operators & Drivers Association of the Philippines (ALTODAP)

Although they are calling for a ₱2 increase in the minimum jeepney fare, the groups said they want the rate for every suceeding kilometer to remain at ₱1.50.

ACTO Chairman and National President Efren De Luna said in a Tuesday press conference that their petition came as diesel prices went up for eight straight weeks, which have led to less take-home pay for jeepney drivers, among other reasons.

"Kaya lumalabas, 50 percent ang nawala, gawa nga po ng traffic, gawa rin ng pagtaas ng presyo ng langis, gawa rin ng mga colorum, gawa rin ng kotong," he said. "'Yan yung mga tinatawag na expenses na hindi na gawa ng gobyerno. Kaya napilitan kami ngayon na mag-file ng petition ng fare increase."

[Translation: It comes out that 50 percent of their income is lost because of traffic, higher fuel prices, colorum public-utility vehicles and "kotong" or bribing law enforcers. Those are the expenses that were not imposed by the government. This is why we were forced to file a petition for a fare increase.]

De Luna added that he believes commuters will understand the proposed fare hike.

However, jeepney riders had mixed reactions to the proposal.

"Mataas masyado," said Cristina Ortenez. "Kasi hindi naman nababago yung kita, tumataas pa yung bilihin, so parang masyadong mataas naman tsaka masyadong biglaan."

[Translation: It's too high. Incomes are not going up and the prices of goods are also increasing, so the hike seems too high and too sudden.]

"Gusto ko taasan pamasahe kasi kawawa mga drayber kung trapik," said Josefina Bautista. "Halimbawa, boundary, trapik. Ano pa mangyayari?"

[Translation: I agree with the fare hike because traffic is bad for drivers. For example, there is traffic, but they have to give boundary. What will happen?]

The boundary pertains to the fixed amount from a jeepney driver's daily earnings that goes to the jeepney operator.

What's left after the boundary goes to the driver, who also pays for the jeepney's fuel and maintenance costs.

Meanwhile, LTFRB Spokesperson Aileen Lizada said on Tuesday that the agency will conduct a hearing over the petition on the second week of October.

"While the Board notes the 30-percent increase of the pump price of gas, comparing it from 2016 to 2017, the Board likewise notes that the PUJs (public utility jeepney) have the most number of units nationwide," she said.

"The estimated number of PUJs nationwide is 200,000," she added. "With an average of 16 passengers per unit, we are talking about 3.2 million passengers who will be affected. Therefore, the Board must thoroughly deliberate the matter."