THE Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) urged the public to report any jeepney driver who refuses to honor the new P7 minimum fare that took effect yesterday so they can be investigated and penalized.
LTFRB 7 Acting Director Rey Elnar made the appeal after receiving reports that some jeepney drivers still collect not only P7.50, which was the previous official rate, but P8 because they would not give the P0.50 change.
Elnar said that once a passenger will file a complaint and submit the jeepney plate number, they will immediately summon the driver as well as the operator who will be both penalized under the Joint Administrative Order (JAO) 2014-001.
The order was jointly issued by the LTFRB, represented by Chairman Winston Gines; Land Transportation Office (LTO), represented by Assistant Secretary Alfonso Tan Jr.; and Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC), represented by Secretary Antonio Abaya last year.
It provides the penalties for overcharging at P5,000 for the first offense, P10,000 for the second offense and P15,000 plus suspension of the certificate of public convenience (franchise) for the third offense.
Gines said the operators should make sure that their drivers have followed the new fare rate, as they will also be made answerable for the offense of their drivers.
On the other hand, Arthur Barrit of the Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines said the labor group will file a new petition seeking for a P5 or P6 minimum fare rate because the price of diesel, as of yesterday, was already sold at P25 per liter.
Barrit said that when former Cebu City councilor Augustus Pe Jr. filed the petition seeking for a P7 minimum jeepney fare, the price of diesel was still P37 per liter.
Barrit said it is but proper for LTFRB to further cut the minimum fare to P5, which was the rate when diesel was at P29 per liter several years ago. The reduction of minimum fare will benefit the workers in Central Visayas, particularly in Cebu.
“If that is the case, then I will have to withdraw my petition. What is important is for the common good,” Pe told Sun.Star Cebu when asked for his comment.
Meanwhile, LTO 7 Director Arnel Tancinco said the refusal of the jeepney drivers to give 20 percent discounts to senior citizens, students and person with disabilities (PWDs) is a crime.
Tancinco said the fine as provided for under JAO 2014-001 is P1,000 for the erring driver and a bigger amount of P5,000 for the jeepney operator.