Transport groups told to submit position papers on fare hike

TWO transport groups in Bacolod City were given 15 days to submit their position papers to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on their request to increase the jeepney fare rate in the city.

Lawyer Joscet Buyco-Abellar, who led the public hearing Friday, April 20, at the MassKara Hall of the Bacolod Government Center, said the transport groups have already aired their sentiments and they should submit their position papers to justify their request.

She said the transport groups such as the Sentrong Samahan ng Tsuper at Operators Negros (SSTONE) and Federation of Bacolod City Drivers Associations Inc. (Febacda) should submit the documents on May 5.

"Their position papers will be submitted to the central office for approval," she added.

Abellar noted that in Iloilo City, they already submitted the recommendation for Western Visayas which is a P9 increase in fare rate.

"The P9 fare rate increase is our recommendation for Region 6, but if we see that there's a need to amend, we will amend the recommendation," Abellar said.

The city's transport groups had earlier asked the assistance of Councilor Dindo Ramos to seek approval of LTFRB to increase the jeepney fare rate from P7 to P8 for the first five kilometers.

In their letter to the City Council dated February 2 this year, Jesse Ortega, secretary-general of SSTONE, and Elizabeth Katalbas, president of Febacda, said they have agreed that the P8 fare rate is the most applicable and mutually appropriate for both passengers and drivers or operators.

They said that the fuel rate increases that have bombarded them with its upward spiral are too much to bear, adding that it has also touched the very core that triggered an increase in the cost of prime commodities, food, medicines among others.

The transport groups are happy that the LTFRB heard their sides to consider their request. (MAP)


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