Proposed ₱1 provisional fare hike not enough to counter rising pump prices - Piston

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 15) — The ₱1 provisional jeepney fare hike being eyed by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) before the year ends will not be enough for public transport operators if pump prices continue to rise, a transport group said on Friday.

Speaking to CNN Philippines' The Source, Piston national president Mody Floranda urged the government to focus more instead on solutions to lower petroleum costs.

"Kung gusto talaga tulungan ng ating gobyerno ang sektor at ang ating mga mamamayan, dapat ‘yung pagbabawas, pagtigil sa paghingi ng mataas na buwis sa usapin ng produktong petrolyo para domino effect naman ito sa pagbaba ng mga bilihin," Floranda said.

[Translation: If our government really wants to help the sector and our people, it should make a reduction or stop asking for high taxes on petroleum products so this will have a domino effect on the prices of goods.]

Floranda added that the fare hike will be "useless" even if it is implemented within the year, citing the looming oil price hikes this month.

READ: Pump prices to climb anew this week 

The Piston leader said the fare hike should be at least ₱2. He also called on the public to support the drivers in their fight against rising pump prices, asking for empathy towards their requests for a fare hike.

"Hanggat maaari ayaw po nating magtaas ng pamasahe pero kung lalamunin naman ng tuloy-tuloy na pagtaas ng presyo ng petrolyo ‘yung kinikita ng ating mga driver at operator ay mapipilitan din- at karapatan din naman ito ng ating mga driver na dagdagan ang kanilang kararamput na kinikita," he said.

[Translation: As much as possible, we do not want to raise fares, but if the continuous increase in pump prices eats up the earnings of our drivers and operators, they will also be forced to- and it is also the right of our drivers to increase their meager earnings.]

Floranda said the LTFRB has yet to release its decision after consolidating petitions and proposals of different transport groups on the fare hike.