Minimum fare ‘to skyrocket’ to P40 from P15

SunStar File
SunStar File

A TRANSPORT leader has warned that if the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP) is fully implemented, the minimum fare will spike to P40 from the current P15.

Gregory Perez, head of Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide Cebu, said this will likely be the scenario if traditional jeepneys are completely banned from plying the streets or if modern jeepneys monopolize the public transportation sector.

“Base sa datos o pagtuon, mo-demand sila og P30 to P40 ang minimum fare o sobra pa ana kay nag-apas man gud na sila sa datahan anang mga sakyanan nga ilang gipangkompra sa lain nasad nga mahal sad na... para makabayad sila, para mabalanse ilang nautang nga sakyanan ug maka-income,” he said on Monday, April 29, 2024.

(Based on data or studies, they might demand a minimum fare of P30 to P40 or more because they rely on it to pay off the loans for the vehicles they purchased, which are also expensive... so they can pay and earn an income.)

According to a SunStar Cebu report last Jan. 6, an imported modern PUV costs P2 million to P3 million or more, depending on the model, size and brand.

But Ellen Maghanoy, president of the 13-member Federation of Cebu Transporation Cooperatives, told SunStar Cebu on Wednesday, May 1, that all fare increases, including the implementation of the latest provisionary fare hike, are primarily based on fuel costs.

“If they will base it in terms of the costs of units, that has never been considered by the officials at the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) because they are the ones that approve it,” she said.

Department of Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista already addressed the speculation as early as January.

In a statement, he said the primary consideration for any fare increase in public transport is the cost of fuel.

Bautista said the LTFRB always subjects fare increase petitions to en banc deliberation.

He said the National Economic and Development Authority will also issue an opinion regarding the inflationary effect of any increase, along with giving due consideration to the commuting public.

The non-profit research organization Ibon Foundation said that fares will inevitably rise due to the modernization of fleets and the consolidation of transport service providers, as well as the increase in transport costs, even with economies of scale.

It pointed out that when the PUVMP was initiated in 2017, the minimum fare of traditional jeepneys was P8.

It predicted the minimum fare to be between P15 and P25 in the next three to five years. It added that the minimum fare will eventually go up to as high as P45 to P50.

The Ibon Foundation, though, did not say how it came up with the numbers.

Under the PUVMP, the National Government mandates operators of traditional jeepney units to form or join a cooperative or corporation to continue operating, requiring them to surrender their individual franchises. The cooperative needs at least 10 members.

The program aims to replace old, dilapidated jeepneys and other PUVs that are at least 15 years old with modern, safer and more comfortable vehicles emitting lower emissions, thereby reducing pollution.

Additionally, it aims to restructure the public transportation system to enhance efficiency through route planning, fleet management and industry regulation. / KJF


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