BACOLOD City Councilor Dindo Ramos, chairperson of committee on transportation, urged transport groups to follow the existing fare matrix of collecting P7 for the first five kilometers.
Ramos, who held a meeting with Regional Director Richard Osmeña of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB)-Western Visayas on Tuesday, said yesterday Osmeña confirmed that the May 12, 2012 fare matrix of collecting P7.50 for the first five kilometers is already not valid.
The Sentrong Samahan ng Tsuper at Operators Negros (SSTONE) and Federation of Bacolod City Drivers Associations Inc. (Febacda) had earlier asked the assistance of Ramos to support their joint effort to seek the approval of LTFRB for a fare rate increase, from P7 to P8 for the first five kilometers.
While awaiting the approval of their request, the transport groups presented the document to Ramos, which was signed by Osmeña in 2012, requiring them to collect P7.50 for the first five kilometers.
“They can no longer implement this because it is already not valid,” Ramos said.
Jesse Ortega, secretary-general of SSTONE, had earlier 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.
At present, the transport groups are collecting P7 for the first five kilometers for regular passengers and P5 for student, senior citizen, and person with disability, but some of them are already collecting P7.50 for the first five kilometers.
Ramos said Osmeña assured him that all the petitions for fare rate increase were already forwarded to the LTFRB national office and he is also waiting for the resolution.
He said that in Western Visayas, there is a proposal of fare rate increase, from P7 to P10 for the first five kilometers.
“It will depend on the approval of the LTRFB national, it’s either P8 or P10. Once they will approve the fare rate increase, it will be implemented in all areas of Western Visayas," he added.
Ramos said he will file a resolution next week urging Transportation Secretary Arturo Tugade to act the pending petition of fare rate increase in Western Visayas, including Bacolod City.