PETITIONS for an increase in public utility jeepney (PUJ) fare has yet to reach the regional office of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board in Northern Mindanao although the agency has assured “it will act” on the request.
At least three transport groups have recently said in interviews that they want the fare increase for PUJs in the region.
According to reports, the National Confederation of Transport Union (NCTU) wants an increase of P10 from the minimum fare of P7, while the Solidarity of Transport Alliance in Northern Mindanao-Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operators Nationwide (Starex-Piston) is pushing for P8 PUJ fare.
But LTFRB-Northern Mindanao regional director Aminoden Guro said they have yet to receive any petition from the groups.
“It would be good for them to submit their respective petitions now so we can endorse them to the LTFRB central office,” Guro said, adding that all petitions for fare increase will be reviewed by the agency aside from the public hearing that will be conducted as part of the review process.
He said the fare increase the drivers and operators are asking must be within the allowable limit as the interest of the riding public must also be considered.
“Once there is an increase in PUJ fare, it will affect thousands of commuters. While those who benefit from it are just few, thousands will have to bear the brunt of paying more,” Guro said.
In a previous interview, Starex-Piston secretary-general Ringo Lago said his group is also looking at the side of the riding public when they revealed the plan to ask the LTFRB for the fare hike.
Guro said the prevailing fuel prices have yet to gravely affect the public utility vehicle drivers’ daily net take-home pay.
He said there are individuals who came to his office inquiring if they can apply for a franchise.