LTFRB OKs 50¢ hike in PUJs’ minimum fare
MANILA, Philippines—The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has approved a 50-centavo fare hike for public jeepneys, it was announced on Friday.
In a statement, the LTFRB said the fare increase—effective June 14—will be P0.50 for the first 4 kilometers or from P8.00 to P8.50; and P0.10 for every succeeding kilometer or from P1.40 to P1.50, subject to certain conditions.
LTFRB ordered all public utility jeepney (PUJ) operators and drivers in the National Capital Region, and nearby Regions 3 and 4, to conspicuously display the new fare matrix inside their vehicles.
The board earlier denied several petitions filed by various PUJ groups due to lack of merit.
However, LTFRB Chair Winston Ginez said the board now finds that there is factual basis for a reasonable increase in PUJ fare rates.
He said the board also carefully studied a National Economic Development Authority (Neda) analysis on the impact of the proposed fare hike in making the decision.
“As part of the board’s authority to regulate transport fares, we considered not only the welfare of the PUJ drivers but also of the general public, especially the low- and middle-income classes who will be directly affected.”
The LTFRB, he said, adopted a formula in computing the fare increase using a cost recovery method combined with Neda’s socio-economic analysis.
It cited that early this month, the Department of Energy monitored the average diesel pump price based on the lowest retail prices at P43.44 per liter, indicating an increase in the average diesel pump price of P5.69 per liter from 2011 to 2014.
Based on the cost recovery method of computation, PUJ fuel consumption is approximately pegged at 6 kph/liter and at an average of 10 passengers per trip. The calculation shows that an increase of 37.9 cents for the first 4 kilometer is necessary to allow PUJ drivers to recover the additional expenses in fuel.
The calculation validates Neda’s analysis that a reasonable adjustment in the minimum fare would be about P0.50, the LTFRB said.
“In making this decision, we judiciously balanced the rights of the commuting public that is mostly dependent on the public land transportation system vis-à-vis the rights of the PUJ operators and drivers,” Ginez said.
Under the new fare matrix, children less than 1 meter in height will be transported free of charge and those from 1 to 1.30 meters in height shall pay half fare. PUJ operators will provide an adequate place in their units for the necessary markings for verifying the heights of children entitled to free or half fare.
Qualified senior citizens, students and persons with disabilities must also be given a 20-percent fare discount.
The board will issue and distribute copies of the approved fare matrix to all heads of the transport groups for distribution to their members, including PUJ operators and drivers.
Law enforcement personnel of the board, the Land Transportation Office and the Philippine National Police Highway Patrol Group will apprehend PUJ drivers who fail to follow the conditions stipulated in the new ruling.