1-UTAK to appeal rejected P1 fare hike before SC

March 19, 2022 Jun I. Legaspi 165 views

THE transport group led by 1-United Transport Koalisyon (1-UTAK) will question the resolution of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) before the Supreme Court (SC) as the petition for the provisional increase of P1.00 jeepney fare in Metro Manila, Southern Tagalog, and Central Luzon was thumbed down.

Lawyer Vigor Mendoza II, chairman and president of the transport group 1-UTAK cited reasons for the fare increase.

Mendoza, in an official statement, said “It is a violation of due process as (LTFRB) is acting as opposition and judge at the same. It raised grounds that petitioners were not allowed to rebut. For instance, how can the cost of P1 have an inflationary effect?”.

1-UTAK cited a violation of the SC ruling – in KMU (Kilusang Mayo Uno) vs. LTFRB, where the Court said: “A rate should not be confiscatory as would place an operator in a situation where he will continue to operate at a loss.”

The transport group also said the rejected fare hike petition contradicts LTFRB Memorandum Circular MC 2019-035, which refers to a fare adjustment formula in case of oil price movements, and LTFRB Resolution No. 91 Series of 2018 where current public utility jeep (PUJ) fares were set with an oil price of P38 per liter.

“As to the fuel subsidy and service contracting, these have not yet been given to PUJs of petitioners. The DBM (Department of Budget and Management) rollout of funds has been ‘terribly’ slow,” 1-UTAK said.

In an interview, Atty. Mendoza said all transport petitioners have unanimously agreed to bring the issue before the SC to settle the issue.

“To be sure, early in the afternoon of Monday (March 21, 2022) i-file namin ang case na ito sa SC, as we are now busy preparing all the necessary documents with my partner Atty. Greg Pua Jr.,” said Mendoza.

In a separate interview, transport groups are praying to solve the matter as quickly as possible with the fare hike petition.

“Sana po matapos agad. Dugong-dugo na po ang transportation industry (public utility jeepneys, taxi, bus, transport network vehicle services (TNVS), transport truck, school service, and motorcycle taxi).

Public Commuters and Private Motorists (PCPM) is also hoping for a “win-win” solution to the petition.