STARTING on Monday, those who rely on vans or Garage to Terminal (GT) Express vehicles to reach Asturias and Tuburan towns will need to pay P10 to P20 more.
Engineer Joselito Cabase explained that an increase in the prices of fuel, especially diesel, which most van operators use, has compelled the fare increase. Cabase serves as chairman of the Association of Association of Ayala, Balamban, Asturias and Tuburan (AABAT) route operators.
The association also needs to implement the rate of P2 per kilometer, which the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) in Central Visayas has authorized, to avoid being accused of undercharging.
“Pero dili lang pud namo palabihan kay basin makalitan ang mga pasahero. Mao amo lang usa ihinayhinay (We don’t want to overdo things because our passengers might be shocked. That’s why the increase will be gradual,” Cabase told SunStar Superbalita Cebu.
Under LTFRB Memorandum Circular 2007-007, which authorized the rate of P2 per kilometer, the GT Express fare from Ayala Terminal to Tuburan should be P172. But AABAT’s drivers charge only P140 at present.
On Monday, this will go up to P160. Fare from Ayala Terminal to Santa Lucia, Asturias will go up to P130 from P120. It will be P140, instead of P130, from the terminal to Bago, Asturias.
AABAT has 82 members, of whom 37 are operators as well.
Reynaldo Elnar, assistant regional director of LTFRB 7, said that in case anyone complains, drivers and operators could be fined P5,000 for undercharging. That violates Joint Administrative Order (JAO) 2014-01.
“Ang problema kinsa’y mo-complain (The problem is that no one ever complains),” Elnar said. He explained that AABAT no longer needs further authorization from LTFRB to increase fares starting next week, but they should display the authorized fare matrix inside their vehicles, to help commuters understand.
Cabase also explained that with diesel now costing around P46 a liter, the P800 that drivers used to spend on fuel now amounts to some P1,100, and they can no longer sustain this unless fares are raised.
After expenses, the driver keeps around 30 percent, and the balance goes to the operator. Cabase explained that on days when there are few passengers, 28 GT Express units operate, although this can go up to 50 on busy days.