Jeepney fare hike sought in Baguio

WHILE commuters are still reeling from the taxi fare hike, a petition to raise jeepney fares has been filed before the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).

A hearing on the petition has been scheduled for May 15, at 2 p.m., at the LTFRB office in Pacdal, Baguio City.

In their petition, transport groups are seeking an increase of P4 to bring the base jeepney fare to P14 from the current P8 for the first four kilometers.

Department of Transportation (DOTr) Cordillera regional director Eduardo Natividad said the hearing will determine the amount of the fare increase.

There are over 4,000 public utility jeepneys plying regular routes in Baguio City daily.

Transport groups in the national level have cited the effects of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (Train) law.

The tax reform law has imposed an additional excise tax of P2.50 per liter on diesel fuel this year. This will increase to P6 per liter by 2020.

Operators also cited the higher fuel prices in the highlands by at least P5.

The Department of Energy (DOE) explained the disparity in price in La Union with Baguio City is based on the P25 international price import content, P7 excise tax, and the P6 value added tax, amounting to P38 while the remaining P22 is identified as the industry take.

DOE also explained Baguio City consumes only one to two percent of the Northern Luzon demand for fuel distributed by re-sellers aside from not having its own depot, import terminal, and a refinery.

The DOE is set to require the oil companies, suppliers and retail outlets to submit baseline data every end of the year for the unbundling of their base price and to comply as well with the mandatory price display board.

Following the additional effects on petroleum products with the implementation of the TRAIN law this year, Baguio City Congressman Marquez Go passed a measure giving back to the energy department powers to regulate the prices of fuel. (With a report from Jonathan Llanes)


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