71% of NCR commuters against jeepney fare hike – survey

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 18) –Majority or 71% of commuters from the National Capital Region (NCR) were against the proposed fare increase for public utility jeepneys, a poll conducted by The Passenger Forum (TPF) showed.

“There is no doubt that regular commuters simply do not have the budget space to allow any fare hikes. This confirms what we have been asserting that the government should look for other solutions such as continuous and effective fuel subsidy for PUJs rather than simply giving the go signal for a fare increase," The Passenger Forum Convenor Primo Morillo said on Monday.

Morillo questioned the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) for its fare hike consideration despite a P3-billion fuel subsidy for jeepney drivers and operators.

“As the main rationale for the fuel subsidies is to cushion the effects of oil price hikes to the transport sector, it should also eliminate, or at least minimize, the need for fare hikes,” Morillo said.

“We just cannot understand how LTFRB Chief Guadiz’ media statement after distributing 3 billion pesos is to announce that they will soon approve a fare hike. In fact, they should explain first how the 3 billion was spent. Malaking pera ang tatlong bilyong piso. Dapat ipaliwanag muna ito ng LTFRB,” he emphasized.

The study also showed that should there be a fare increase, 72% said they would prefer to have a P1 increase limit.

The informal survey reported 100 respondents residing in Quezon City (20%), Manila (14%) and Caloocan (9%), where 29% patronize PUJs 10-14 times per week while 20% rely on jeepneys more than 14 times a week.

Last August, transport groups filed a petition to increase traditional jeepney fares by up to ₱5, as drivers and operators continue to reel from the consecutive increase in pump prices.

Beginning on Tuesday, prices of gasoline and kerosene are set to increase by ₱2 per liter, while diesel will be up P2.50 per liter, according to oil companies.

This will be the 11th consecutive week of oil price hikes.