Councilor to meet LTFRB director today

BACOLOD City Councilor Dindo Ramos will meet Tuesday with Regional Director Richard Osmeña of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB)-Western Visayas to discuss the fare increase petition of transport groups in the city.

The proposal is to increase from P7 to 8 for the first five kilometers.

Ramos, chairperson of committee on transportation, said Monday, February 19, the transport groups should await the result of the meeting before implementing the existing fare matrix.

Ramos, who held a public hearing with the transport groups last week regarding the jeepney fate rate increase, said the transport group leaders presented documents that they had acquired a fare matrix effective May 15, 2012 signed by Osmeña requiring them to collect P7.50 for the first five kilometers.

“I do not know why they failed to implement this fare matrix. They should wait for the result of our meeting first,” he said.

The councilor added that the LTFRB should resolve the pending petition of the transport groups because they are now affected by the continue fuel increases.

The Sentrong Samahan ng Tsuper at Operators Negros (SSTONE) and Federation of Bacolod City Drivers Associations Inc. (Febacda) were soliciting support in their joint effort to seek approval of LTFRB for a fare rate increase of P7 to P8 for the first five kilometers.

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.

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.

At present, the transport groups are only collecting P7 for the first five kilometers for regular passengers and P5 for student, senior citizen, and person with disability.

Ortega said that in previous years, they failed to implement the latest fare matrix or the P7.50 for the first five kilometers because the LTFRB appealed to them to reduce the jeepney fare due to the very low oil price, which is P18 per liter only.

“But now, it’s already P41 per liter, with a very big increase," he said.
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