Transport group mulls hike-A A +A
Monday, September 3, 2012
A TRANSPORT leader in Cebu yesterday said the petition of the Alliance of Concerned Transport Organizations (Acto) in Manila to increase the minimum jeepney fare by P2 for the first four kilometers is too much.
Chairman Benjamin Ryan Yu of the Cebu Integrated Transport Service Cooperative (Citrasco) said that while they are after the welfare of the drivers and conductors whose income tremendously dropped when the prices of gasoline and diesel went up, they don’t want to add too much burden to the commuting public.
“Jeepney operators under Citrasco will meet tomorrow to discuss whether we are going to file a petition for fare increase and what reasonable amount of jeepney fares we are going to ask,” Yu said.
Acto first filed a petition to increase the minimum fare from P8 to P10 when diesel was P56 per liter. Acto leaders promised to withdraw their petition once the price of diesel would go down to P45 per liter.
In the past months, the prices of diesel dropped to as low as P36 per liter, but oil companies imposed increases in the past week until yesterday when the prices of diesel ranged from P44.75 to P45.90 per liter. The prices of diesel last month ranged from P36 to P39 per liter.
Last week, Acto revived its petition for a minimum jeepney fare from P8 to P10 because of the high cost of fuel.
However, in a report from a national daily, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said new fare increases sought by the transport group will tend to add to inflation.
He said inflation averaged 3.1 percent as of July 2012.
This inflation rate was also the basis for the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) to declare a supervening event during its regular meeting last Aug. 9.
The declaration will pave the way for another round of wage increase.
Yu said that when the price of diesel was P38 per liter, the take-home income of the drivers ranged from P250 to P300.
“This is supposed to be double because they are plying on their routes for about 16 hours a day. But they only had that amount,” Yu said.
But when the price of diesel went to more than P45 per liter because of the successive increases imposed by the oil companies, the net income of the drivers was reduced to P150 to P200 only.
“That is the reason most of the drivers are in financial crisis,” Yu said.
Yu said there are about 2,000 drivers and 1,000 conductors who are handling about 1,000 jeepney units owned by several operators under Citrasco who will be affected by the increasing prices of fuel.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 03, 2012.