Monday, November 29, 2021

Transport strike looms over unabated fuel price hikes

NEGROS. If fuel prices continue to increase, the transport sector in Negros Occidental may stage a strike. (APN photo)

A TRANSPORT sector leader in the Negros Occidental Wednesday, October 20, 2021, warned of a possible transport strike over the unabated increases in fuel prices.

Jessie Ortega, secretary general of the Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operators Negros (Stone), is appealing to the government to temporarily stop imposing excise taxes on fuels.

Ortega said they will meet next week with the leaders of another transport group, Federation of Bacolod Drivers Association (Febacda), on what action to take after the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) denied the drivers petition in Manila for a fare rate increase of P3.

Currently, the fare in Manila is at P9 for the first four kilometers.

“We are also asking the same although we have not formally filed a petition yet for the fare increase,” Ortega said.

Fuel prices have increased anew this week at P1.80 per liter for gasoline, P1.50 per liter for diesel and P1.30 per liter for kerosene.

It was already the eighth time that the fuel increased in 2021.

Ortega said the public utility vehicle’s operation has been affected by the ongoing coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

He said jeepneys cannot have a full capacity due to the implementation of social distancing.

Ortega added that drivers are also asking if the barriers could be removed since passengers are already wearing face masks and shields.

With the price hike on fuel, the drivers have no more take-home income and are inclined to stop operation, the transport leader said.

Ortega emphasized that if the government stops imposing excise tax, the increase in fuel prices would not be that much.

Unleaded gasoline in the Visayas is now pegged at P73.96 per liter while diesel price is pegged at P64.95 per liter.


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