THE Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Friday, November 9, warned Public Utility Jeepney (PUJ) operators and drivers that they will face penalties if they do not follow the approved fare matrix.
LTFRB head Attorney Cattleya Acaylar said the penalty for undercharging or overcharging is P5,000.
“Actually, maong naay sanction ang undercharge kay if ever man gud naay ganahan magpatuman ug sakto, then naay uban dili mutuo, mu-result mana siya sa unfair competition (There is a sanction because if there will be an unfair competition between the drivers if some are following the fare matrix and some are not),” Acaylar said in a phone interview Friday.
She said passengers would naturally choose to ride with drivers who charge lower fares. This will, in turn, force other drivers not to follow the regulated fare.
Last week, LTFRB received complaints about the sudden fare increase in the PUJ route from Toril to Roxas Avenue. Passengers were asked to pay P25 instead of the approved amount of P20.
The LTFRB on Friday said the drivers were actually undercharging because the approved fare for that route is P27.50.
“Last Wednesday, nag-meeting mi with PUJ operators. Amo silang gisultian na ipatuman gyud ang fare matrix (We met with the PUJ operators and told them the fare matrix should be followed),” she said.
She added that they will have to conduct a public forum with the drivers, commuters and the terminal manager in Toril about the matter.
Meanwhile, Acaylar said the PUJ drivers should just explain the fare matrix to commuters patiently and accurately as it is just normal for passengers to demand for an explanation of the sudden increase.
“Arrogant drivers will be penalized also,” Acaylar warned as she urged the riding public to also keep their calm.