Transport group bats for ₱1 'surge fee' in jeepney fare

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 17) — A transport group wants to charge jeepney passengers a "surge fee" during rush hour to cushion the impact of soaring fuel prices

Pasang Masda on Monday explained that the surge fee is a fixed fee of ₱1 that would be added to the minimum fare for traditional (₱12) and modern jeepneys (₱14) between 5 to 8 a.m. and 5 to 8 p.m.

"If ever LTFRB (Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board) will approve our petition, from five to eight, magmememo po ng additional ₱1. Wala na po kaming sisingilin after four kilometers [a memo on the additional ₱1 will be issued. We will not charge anything after four kilometers]," Pasang Masda President Obet Martin said in CNN Philippines' Traffic Center.

After five consecutive weeks of rollbacks, fuel companies last week imposed an increase, with the price of diesel alone jumping by at least ₱6 per liter. 

Another fuel price hike is expected on Tuesday with fuel companies announcing they would increase the per-liter prices of gasoline by ₱0.80, diesel by ₱2.70, and kerosene by ₱2.90. 

Martin said the recent upward adjustments are becoming a "burden" on jeepney drivers.

"Last week, bigla tumaas tayo ng ₱7, tomorrow, additional ₱3. ₱10 pesos ang itataas na naman. Ito'y masyadong burden na sa aming mga jeepney drivers. Hindi na po kumikita ang aming jeepney drivers," he stressed.

[Translation: Last week, (fuel prices) suddenly increased by ₱7, tomorrow, an additional ₱3. ₱10 pesos will be raised again. This is too much of a burden on our jeepney drivers. Our jeepney drivers are no longer making money.]

Martin also said Pasang Masda has already filed the petition to the LTFRB and is awaiting the schedule of hearing.

Earlier this month, the LTFRB imposed a fare increase for jeepneys and other modes of public transport in consideration of the movement of fuel prices.