Hearing for P1 fare rate increase set

BACOLOD City Councilor Dindo Ramos, chairperson of committee on transportation, will hold a public hearing shortly to discuss the recommendation of the two transport groups to increase the jeepney fare rate from P7 to P8 for the first five kilometers.

Ramos said on Sunday the Sentrong Samahan ng Tsuper at Operators Negros (SSTONE) and Federation of Bacolod City Drivers Associations Inc.

(Febacda) are soliciting support in their joint effort to seek approval of Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) for a fare rate increase.

In their letter to the City Council dated February 2, 2018, Jesse Ortega, secretary-general of SSTONE, and Elizabeth Katalbas, president of Febacda, said they have agreed that the P8 fare rate is the most applicable and mutually appropriate for both passengers and drivers or operators.

“We have defended this position by letters and verbal arguments with the LTFRB regional officers, but we have not received any specific response from them up to this point,” they said.

They noted that on March 20, 2017, they sent their first letter to the LTFRB and it was followed by a letter that reiterated their position and request on November 16, 2017, but until now there’s no specific response.

“We argue that during our recent dialogues and conferences, there is communality on the part of our drivers to agree to the P1 increase from present rate, and that our passengers who were consulted about the impending rate increase have mostly expressed acquiescence or approval,” the transport groups said.

They said that the fuel rate increases that has bombarded them with its upward spiral is too much to bear, adding that it has also touched the very core that triggered increase in cost of prime commodities, food, medicines among others.

Ramos said the transport groups want to invite the LTFRB-6 regional director to act on their petition and to shed light on it.

However, he said it is better to discuss the issue first and give the proponents chance to explain the P1 fare rate increase.
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