Decision on jeepney fare hike out on Oct. 3, says LTFRB

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 28) — The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) is set to announce next week its decision on the provisional jeepney fare hike.

"Tuesday po, definitely in the afternoon, after the hearing po, maglalabas kami ng aming desisyon," LTFRB chairman Teofilo Guadiz said on Thursday. [Translation: Tuesday, definitely in the afternoon, after the hearing, we will release our decision.]

Some transport groups were expecting the LTFRB to grant their petition Thursday (Sept. 28), but due to some technicalities, they have to wait for another week or until such time they are able to submit all documents required by the board.

Guadiz said the board is also getting a comment from the National Center for Commuter Safety and Protection, which supports a temporary fare increase as long as it will only be at ₱1.

"Kaya na i-absorb ng pagtaas sa minimum wage ang itataas sa ating pasahe. Tinitingnan namin kasi, binabalanse namin ang pangangailangan," NCCSP chairperson Elvira Medina said.

[Translation: The increase in the minimum wage absorbed the increase in our fare. We are balancing what's necessary.]

Even some jeepney drivers, who stand to benefit from the possible fare hike, are concerned about the burden their passengers will face if the petition is granted.

While the regulator hinted that it is inclined to grant the provisional fare hike due to soaring pump prices, it said the only question is by how much, especially in light of the numerous petitions by different transport organizations.

"Ang inclination ng board is of course in favor of transport groups. Pero issue, magkano?" Guadiz said. "We need to defer or rely or take guidance from NEDA."

The LTFRB is looking at two petitions: One is a ₱2 fare increase for the first four kilometers of trip across different modes of public transportation all over the country; the other calls for a provisional fare hike of ₱1 in the minimum fare while the main petition of a ₱5 increase is pending.

With reports from CNN Philippines' correspondent Gerg Cahiles.