₱10 jeepney minimum fare starts in November

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 18) — Jeepney passengers in Metro Manila, Central Luzon, and Southern Tagalog will have to pay a minimum fare of ₱10 starting November.

The official decision of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) for a fare increase was released on Thursday after the document was leaked.

In its decision, LTFRB made permanent the provisional increase of ₱1 that took effect in July, making the minimum fare ₱9. It also granted another ₱1 increase for the first four kilometers, hiking the minimum fare to ₱10.

The decision will take effect 15 days after its publication. It said it has directed its technical division to prepare a new fare matrix.

The LTFRB noted a recent report by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) that any increase in public transport fares will "certainly positively contribute or raise the current inlfation rate," which hit 6.7 percent in September. But the transport regulators said it also has to consider the needs of the jeepney drivers and operators.

"The Board does not only look with favor on the side of the commuting public but also considers the welfare of the transport operators or drivers as equally important in order to ensure their continued service," the LTFRB decision read.

Meanwhile, the petition seeking a P1 increase for every succeeding kilometer after the first four kilometers was denied for "lack of factual and legal basis."

The increase comes after transport groups filed a petition in September 2017, citing the rise in fuel prices and operational cost as reason to grant the fare hike.

LTFRB also approved the provisional increase on bus fares in Metro Manila and provincial buses.

Metro Manila bus fares will increase ₱1 for the first 5 kilometers, making the minimum fare at ₱11 for ordinary buses and ₱13 for air conditioned buses. As for provincial buses, the rate for the first 5 kilometers will remain the same, but it will increase ₱0.15 for every succeeding kilometer.

It will also take effect 15 days after its publication.

Presidential Spokesperson Sal Panelo downplayed the increase, saying "the increase is only P10." He added the hikes are only temporary, in the same way inflation is temporary.

"This is just temporary. So hopefully when everything settles down, babalik tayo sa dati... We really have to take the brunt sa ngayon but if you haven't noticed there have been changes in the prices in the market, they're slowly tapering," he said in a media briefing on Thursday.