Transport group applies for P10 minimum fare

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Saturday, March 8, 2014


FOR student Harley Damien Yburan, 21, a proposed increase in the minimum fare from P7.50 to P10 is too much.

“Sakit na kaayo na sa bulsa para sa mga estudyante ug mga trabahador nga gamay ra ang sweldo (That will hurt students and workers who earn little),” Yburan told Sun.Star Cebu yesterday.

Yburan, a nursing student, was reacting to the proposal of Cebu Integrated Transport Service Cooperative (Citrasco) for a P2.50 increase in the minimum public utility jeepney (PUJ) fare.

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But for Citrasco’s Ryan Benjamin Yu, the P2.50 fare hike the group is proposing will allow PUJ drivers and operators to earn their keep despite the increasing prices of consumables and spare parts.

Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) 7 Director Ahmed Cuizon said that the agency may consolidate the many fare increase petitions filed by different transport groups.

Like Yburan, some commuters also felt that the proposed fare increase is a too much.

Jeffrey Philip Tan, a computer engineer, said that students would likely suffer if fares go up.

Louchine Repollo, a medical technologist, said that if the transport sector wants higher fares, their units must be worth the increase.

“Kung mao na, dapat dili na padaganon ang mga karaan na kaayo na jeep ug dapat aircon na kung P10 na man gani (If the jeepney drivers are going to charge P10 minimum, those old units should no longer be used and the jeepneys should be air-conditioned),” Repollo said.

Vince Cinches, an environmentalist, said that if the fare hike increase does push through, cheaper means of transportation such as bicycles and road sharing will soon be needed.

Prices

In a separate interview yesterday, Yu said the fare increase petition was filed because of the increasing prices of lubricants, engine oil, wheels, batteries and spare parts.

Yu said that while the price of fuel fluctuates, the prices of spare parts and other consumables continue to rise.

He noted that from 2010 to 2011, tires cost about P3,000 to P3,500 each. This year, that has reached P4,000 to P5,000, Yu added.

The increase, said Yu, is also in support of the LTFRB’s calls to phase out old jeepney units.

In a separate interview yesterday, Cuizon said he has brought Citrasco’s fare increase petition before the LTFRB Board.

Hearings

Cuizon revealed that the LTFRB might consider consolidating all the petitions and conduct public hearings in Manila.

Yu urged the LTFRB to conduct separate public hearings in order for all sectors, including commuters, to raise their opinions on the matter.

He said there is no need for a consolidated fare increase petition, as areas in the country have different transport situations.

Cuizon, however, said the organization will welcome the filing of additional position papers on the proposed fare increase.

In March 2012, the LTFRB allowed PUJ operators in the Visayas and Regions 9 and 10 in Mindanao to increase fares by 50 centavos for the first four kilometers. No increase was granted for the succeeding kilometers. (JKV)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 08, 2014.

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