As the oil price hikes went on for four straight weeks and take their toll, transport groups petitioned for an increased fare for buses and jeepneys, catching the attention of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).
The proposal calls for a Php1 rise to jeepney fare and a Php2 climb for city bus fare, respectively, during peak hours or between 5AM to 8AM and 4PM to 8PM, except during Sundays as well as holidays.
With the price on an uptick, jeepney drivers complain of taking the brunt of the more expensive oil, especially now that the school year is about to resume.
The petition for the so-called “rush hour rate” was presented to the LTFRB on October 2022.
The 14-page appeal follows a previously approved fare hike on September 2022, which the transport leaders deemed necessary.
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As the effect of the “surge price” affects every public mode of transport beyond just transport network vehicle service (TNVS) companies in the country, the petition asked to include public utility vehicles (PUV) that face slower collection of revenues.
Pasang Masda President Obet Martin fears the uncertainty of yet another hike by next week, insinuating further losses, driven by the dictates of the world market that negatively affects small countries, like the Philippines.
Sharing the sentiment, even the LTFRB seems to find the ongoing price increase of oil excessive.
Per LTFRB Chairman Teofilo Guadiz III, the agency finds the soaring oil price to be “irregular and highly unusual.”
Apart from considering the proposal, Guadiz III also said that they are looking into the possibility of fuel subsidy which enables bus and jeepney drivers to endure the high prices of oil, with the aid of the government.
The LTFRB is also contemplating distributing financial aid to transport operators affected by the event.