LTFRB: New fare hike for PUVs effective Oct. 3

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 20) — The newly approved fare increase for jeepneys and other modes of public transport will take effect on Oct. 3, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) said Tuesday.

Speaking to CNN Philippines' The Source, LTFRB chair Cheloy Garafil said the latest increase was designed to be permanent and not affect the recent rollback of fuel prices anymore, but they will also decide on an appropriate benchmark level, depending on the movement of oil prices.

"This is a permanent increase kaya lang [but] we also recognize that the price of oil is still not stable," she said. "The board discussed this and we agreed in principle that we will have to benchmark also, to adjust."

After meeting with officials from the National Economic and Development Authority, Garafil said they were advised that oil prices will likely stabilize at around $85 per barrel and will not significantly go down anymore, at least until yearend.

She also said there is no specific rule on how often the government can grant an increase, but the fare adjustment formula that was indicated under Memorandum Circular 2019-035 can be reviewed every six months depending on the situation.

"We averaged the prices of fuel for the last eight months, noong nagkaroon tayo ng [when we had] soaring oil prices, and we also considered 'yung fuel cost share nila [public transport sector] sa operation," Garafil said. "Also, we did not give them the maximum amount as stated in their petition because we balanced it with the capacity of the consumer to bear the burden and its impact on the economy."

Last Sept. 16, the LTFRB announced that the minimum fare for the traditional and modern public utility jeepneys will have a ₱1-increase equivalent to a ₱12 and ₱14 fare, respectively; a ₱2-hike for city and provincial buses equivalent to an ₱11 to ₱15 minimum fare; and a higher flag down rate for taxis and TNVS by ₱5, equivalent to a ₱35 to ₱45 minimum fare.

READ: LTFRB approves fare hike for jeeps, buses, TNVS 

The LTFRB has yet to act on the fare hike petition of UV Express units, pending additional requirements and the position of NEDA and other commuter groups.

Liberty Deluna of the transport group Alliance of Concerned Transport Organizations meanwhile thanked the LTFRB for the increase, which she said would ease the plight of drivers plying their routes.

"Malaki pong tulong ito na madagdag ang aming kinikita. Doon po sa aming commuters, humihingi kami ng pasensiya sa kanila dahil kami ay humingi na naman ulit ng panibagong fare increase at naaprubahan po ito," she said.

[Translation: This is a big help on top of what we are earning daily. We apologize to commuters for this granted fare increase.]