Fuel prices up for eight weeks in a row, but jeepney fare hikes off the table

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, CNN Philippines, October 18) – Motorists are bracing for another round of hefty fuel price hikes starting Tuesday morning, as the Department of Transportation continues to reject calls for an increase in jeepney fares.

This week marks the second straight month that oil companies are imposing a substantial adjustment in pump prices, worsening the already dire situation of public jeepney drivers and operators amid the pandemic.

READ: Transport groups seek fare hike as fuel costs rise

Amid the rising pump prices, however, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade remains against the idea of a jeepney fare hike.

"Naiintindihan namin ang sitwasyon ng ating mga drayber at operator, ngunit naiintindihan din namin ang hirap ng ating mga commuter," Tugade said in a statement on Monday.

"Alam naman natin na may ilan tayong kababayan na nawalan ng trabaho. Marami rin naman sa atin ang kababalik pa lamang sa trabaho. Ngayon pa lamang sila bumabawi, kaya sa aming pananaw ay hindi napapanahon na magpatupad ng fare increase," he added.

[Translation: We understand the situation of our drivers and operators, but we also understand the plight of our commuters. We know very well that some of our countrymen have lost their jobs. While many have gone back to work, in our view, it is still not timely to implement a fare increase.]

Tugade said transportation authorities are exploring ways to cushion the impact of fuel price hikes, including providing a uniform discount at gas stations across the country.

The DOTr chief also urged drivers and operators to participate in the government's service contracting program where they will get paid on a per kilometer basis.

"Bilang konsiderasyon sa pagtaas ng presyo ng krudo, pinag-aaralan na rin natin na taasan ang insentibo kada kilometrahe," he said.

[Translation: In consideration of the oil price hikes, we are already studying if we can increase the incentive for every kilometer.]

The DOTr is likewise pushing to boost the allowed passenger capacity for public utility vehicles as Metro Manila shifts to Alert Level 3. In a statement, the department said the proposal will be raised to the pandemic response task force.

Meanwhile, local oil players announced in separate advisories their substantial price adjustments for this week:

Petro Gazz

Gasoline +₱1.80/liter

Diesel +₱1.50/liter

SEAOIL

Gasoline +₱1.80/liter

Diesel +₱1.50/liter

Kerosene +₱1.30/liter

PTT Philippines

Gasoline +₱1.80/liter

Diesel +₱1.50/liter

Phoenix Petroleum

Gasoline +₱1.80/liter

Diesel +₱1.50/liter

Unioil

Gasoline +₱1.80/liter

Diesel +₱1.50/liter

Petron

Gasoline +₱1.80/liter

Diesel +₱1.50/liter

Kerosene +₱1.30/liter

Flying V

Gasoline +₱1.80/liter

Diesel +₱1.50/liter

Kerosene +₱1.30/liter

The companies said the price adjustments reflect movements in the international oil market.