DRIVERS who were able to secure the fare matrix from the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) at its regional office in Iloilo City have already started implementing the fare hike of P8.50 for the first four kilometers.
Elizabeth Katalbas, president of the Federation of Bacolod Drivers Association, said as of present, there are about 1,000 jeepney operators in the province who have secured the fare matrix.
It costs the drivers P610 for every franchise, she said.
She said the operators are having a difficulty to secure the fare matrix since they need to visit the LTFRB regional office in Iloilo after the agency closed their satellite office in Bacolod City.
The regional office is too crowded since many drivers are queuing to get the fare matrix, she added.
Katalbas also said before, the drivers are not so strict on implementing the additional payment for the succeeding kilometers, but now, several drivers are really charging for the succeeding kilometers at P1.15 because of the continuous increase of petroleum products.
She also said that drivers still could not impose the fare hike without the fare matrix from the LTFRB.
Katalbas said that LTFRB in Western Visayas director Richard Osmeña has already emphasized that drivers must be secure the new fare matrix.
“Without the new fare matrix, drivers cannot charge passengers P8.50 for the first four kilometers,” she added.
Jesse Ortega, secretary-general of Sentrong Samahan ng Tsuper at Operators Negros (SSTONE), said Friday about 40 percent of their members already acquired the new fare rate matrix.
Ortega said those who have secured the new fare matrix can collect the P8.50 for the first four kilometers for the regular passengers and P6.80 for senior citizens, persons with disabilities and students.
He said for the succeeding kilometers: regular passengers will pay an additional of P1.15 and P0.92 for senior citizens, persons with disabilities and students.
“Those who fail to secure the new fare matrix should follow the old fare rate which is P7 for the regular passengers or else they will be penalized of P6, 000,” he added.
The SSTONE members include the public utility jeepneys plying Tangub, Bata, Pta. Taytay, Banago, Fortune Towne, and others.
Ortega said some of their members still fail to secure the new fare matrix because they need to a lot time and money going to LTFRB office in Iloilo City.
“We are hopeful that by next week, all of our jeepney operators can secure the new fare matrix because, in October, the LTFRB and the Land Transportation Office (LTO) will also start to arrest those who fail to secure the new fare matrix,” Ortega said.
He said the PUJ drivers should display the copy of the new fare matrix inside their unit and should prepare 50 cents so they can collect an exact fare of P8.50 for the first four kilometers.
The drivers and operators have long been waiting for the implementation of the fare hike that was approved on February this year but the LTFRB has only come out with the fare matrix last week.