Jeepney fare back to P9 starting Tuesday

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 4) — The jeepney minimum fare is temporarily back to P9 in the National Capital Region, Central Luzon (Region III), and Calabarzon and Mimaropa (Region IV) starting Tuesday.

The order to lower the fares was issued on Monday and published on Tuesday.

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Resolution No. 91 said the provisional rollback of base fare from P10 to P9 was due to the "world price of diesel" going down, which resulted in the decrease of pump prices locally.

LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra said, "After the prices of fuel have peaked some time in October, bumaba nang bumaba na ang presyo ng krudo. And for which reason, Secretary Tugade directed LTFRB to rollback the fare rate, and that is basically what we're doing."

Dubai crude oil has gone down by 14 percent to an average of $68 per barrel in November from $79 per barrel in October.

The fare cut comes only a month after a jeepney fare hike was implemented in parts of the country. In November, LTFRB made permanent the provisional increase of P1 that took effect in July, making the minimum fare P9. It also granted another P1 increase for the first four kilometers, hiking the minimum fare to P10.

Transport group reacts

Transport group Piston said they are amenable to the rollback, but they questioned the "unilateral decision" made by LTFRB officials.

"Nasa rules ng LTFRB na in any petition, whether increase o decrease, it should undergo public hearing," Piston President George San Mateo told CNN Philippines on Tuesday.

He added the transport regulatory board should refund the P610, which jeepney drivers paid for to secure the fare matrix in November.

"Isoli ang mga siningil P610 sa operators. Dapat isoli nila yung mga taripa na binayaran ng mga tao kasi wala nang silbi ngayon. Hindi lang yung 610, pumila pa sila ng ilang araw para makuha yan," San Mateo said.

Delgra is not in favor of Piston's call for refund.

"When they were able to apply for that, they were already able to make use of the benefit given to them by way of the fare adjustment," he told CNN Philippines.

Delgra clarified the hearing on the petition to reduce the jeepney fare to ?8 will continue.

On Monday, LTFRB met with the technical working group composed of the National Economic Development Authority, and the Labor and Trade Departments to come up with a formula that will pre-determine fare adjustments set by economic indicators.