PUJ fare hike seen in Oro

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Friday, January 3, 2014


ANOTHER round of petition for fare increase from transport groups in Northern Mindanao is expected to be filed by transport groups at the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) following the series of oil price increases last year.

LTFRB-Northern Mindanao Director Mandangan Darimbang said drivers and operators associations would likely file the petition early this year before the agency for a P1 fare increase for passenger jeepneys.

But Darimbang said his office has yet to receive a petition from the transport group, but once his office has it, it will then be submitted to the LTFRB central office for consideration and consolidation with the other petitions coming from other regions.

This came following the announcements made by transport groups over radio that they are keen on calling for a fare increase that is most likely be implemented this year.

Darimbang could not blame the transport sector to demand a fare increase as it has been badly affected by the series of price increases in petroleum products particularly diesel, the fuel commonly used by public utility jeepneys (PUJs).

He said upon filing of the petition, the agency would conduct public hearing to hear all the parties involved.

Darimbang said the LTFRB-Northern Mindanao office is open to fare increase petition anytime.

He said all petitions will be weighed to balance all issues and that all parties affected are given the time to express their opinion, so as not to deprive a certain sector.

“While it is true that we are mandated to protect the interest of the riding public, but the agency (LTFRB) is also mandated to protect the operators and drivers, (for) fear that they will be forced to stop their operations,” Darimbang said.

He added: “Normally, the LTFRB has always granted what is affordable to (the) riding public and the operators.”

Darimbang explained that fuel price increases or rollbacks are based on the implementation of oil companies at the national level, with the basis of all the petitions for fare hikes from all regions would depend.

“Normally, ilang ihatag (fare increase) uniform man sa national level. But dinhi sa ato, ang nahitabo nakita sa mga drivers and operators associations nga taas ra kaayo ang fare increase nga gipatuman sa national, so, dinhi gipaubos nato sa P.50,” Darimbang said.

He lauded the transport groups in Northern Mindanao, saying they are “fair.”

“(The fare increase) is not always good for drivers and operators because the number of passengers would be reduced. Daghan magbaklay an lang o kaha magbisikleta,” he added.

Darimbang said he can assure the riding public that drivers and operators in Northern Mindanao are not abusive.

“Dili man sila mga hangol. Makalaum kita niana. Fair kini sila nga mga tawo. Makasabot sila (They are not greedy. We can hope for that. They are fair people and they will understand),” he added.

He cited that in 2011, due to the calamity brought by Tropical Storm Sendong that ravaged communities, killed hundreds and damaged millions of pesos in properties, the Rural Transit Mindanao Incorporated and the Super 5 bus companies rolled back their one-way fare to half from P167 for the Cagayan de Oro-Iligan route.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on January 04, 2014.

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