THE Cebu Integrated Transport Service Cooperative (Citrasco) filed a fare surge petition for public utility jeepneys (PUJ) in Central Visayas before the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) 7 yesterday.

Ryan Yu of Citrasco said they want an additional P1.50 on the fare, which will be effective from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.

This means that the minimum fare during peak hours will be P8 instead of P6.50.

The petition seeks to help both drivers and commuters, Yu said.

“We look at it at different angles because we want to serve both the drivers and commuters. The current traffic situation has really affected the income of our drivers but at the same time, we don't want to put too much burden on our commuters,” he said.

Aside from the income benefit for drivers, Yu said the petition will also help lessen the traffic along congested roads since passengers who do not want to spend more on their fare will not go out during peak hours.

National Confederation of Transport-workers Union–Visayas also filed a separate petition to increase the fare by P3.

LTFRB 7 Director Ahmed Cuizon said the group wants an additional P1.50 hike in the current minimum fare and another P1.50 surge charge during peak hours.

Cuizon said they will conduct a public hearing with all affected sectors within the month to discuss the two petitions.

In June 2014, several sectors, including workers and teachers, opposed the petition for an increase in jeepney fare to P10 for the first four kilometers.

Annabelle dela Serna, Teachers Dignity Coalition vice chair for the Visayas, said the P10-minimum jeepney fare would not be feasible here in Cebu because the minimum wage is very low compared to Manila.

Art Barrit of the Associated Labor Union—Trade Union Congress of the Philippines also opposed the petition Citrasco filed.