ANY increase in the jeepney fare certainly burns a hole in the pockets of the commuters, who are mostly students and ordinary workers, across impoverished Philippines.
Various quarters, including commuters themselvesa, acknowledged the plight of public utility jeepney (PUJ) operators and drivers not only in the metropolis but elsewhere.
In their view, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) did the right thing when it just approved a P1 provisional fare hike for the first four kilometers.
LTFRB Chairman Teofilo Guadiz III said “there will be no additional (hike) for the succeeding kilometers.” Under the order, the fare increase takes effect on Saturday, October 8.
Guadiz said the minimum fare for traditional and modern PUJs would be P13 and P15, respectively.
Various transport groups had earlier asked the LTFRB for a P5 increase for the first four kilometers and a P1 adjustment for the succeeding kilometers.
Guadiz said they would need to consider a lot of factors, including data from the National Economic and Development Authority, before deciding on the main petition for a permanent P5 fare hike.
Of course, we share the view of the LTFRB chairman that there is a need to determine the possible effect of a fare increase on the country’s inflation rate.
In fact, many passengers described the proposed five-peso increase in the jeepney fare as a hefty one considering the skyrocketing prices of goods and services.
Thus, the government should be commended for doing everything to balance the interests of the commuting public and the country’s PUJ operators and drivers.