CEBU -- Minimum jeepney fares in Central Visayas will go down to P7 after a new order from the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB)-Central Visayas is published.
But two business leaders urged transport operators and LTFRB to consider bringing the minimum fare down to P6, to reflect the continuing drop in fuel prices.
LTFRB Board Member Antonio Enrile Inton Jr. informed Sun.Star Cebu on Sunday that a copy of the order resetting the fare rates will be presented today, January 12.
He urged the LTFRB-Central Visayas and law enforcement agencies, including the Land Transportation Office (LTO), to implement strictly the discounts for senior citizens and students.
In recent years when the P7.50 provisional minimum fare was implemented, some drivers overcharged by collecting P8 and refusing to grant the mandatory discounts. (The minimum fare covers the first five kilometers.)
Businesswoman Teresa Chan, president of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI), said that the minimum fare must be P6.50 -- or P6, if possible -- because the price of diesel is now P28.75 per liter and may further decrease in the next few days.
“We are concerned about this matter because this can help our employees a lot. While P5 may not be feasible, considering the operational costs, we hope our jeepney operators and drivers will help the riding public, the majority of our population who are wage earners, by offering P6,” Chan said.
In a separate interview, spokesperson Art Barrit of the Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines said he doesn’t “see the logic of the LTFRB in granting a reduction of only P0.50. It’s an agency that is faster to increase but slower to decrease fares.”
Annabelle dela Serna, regional coordinator of the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition, said any fare rollback will be much appreciated and help the riding public.
“Considering the continuous rollback in diesel prices, it is but proper to lower also the fare,” Dela Serna said.
Businessman Robert Go, chairman of the Economic Development Committee of the Regional Development Council (EDC-RDC), said jeepney fares must be lowered to P5 since the price of diesel has gone down to P28.45 and may keep dropping.
The minimum fare was P5 when the price of diesel was P29 per liter several years ago.
“Our inflation was lowest last quarter in years and the prices of basic goods are expected to go down. Seven pesos as minimum fare is still too high and should further go down to at least P6, as a compromise if jeepney operators argue about the prices of spare parts, tires, among others,” Go said.
He said that P6 would be a good compromise. (EOB/Sun.Star Cebu)